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Brigade’s secret home makeover stuns member
“I'm flabbergasted, touched and absolutely blown away.” In hospital for 20 days now, Paul Little can still scarcely believe that twenty members of his brigade gave up a whole Sunday to to help him and his family with much needed maintenance for the house and garden.
All in a day’s work, Narre Warren firefighters covered off not just one but several items from the Little family's ‘to do’ list: building a gate, replacing pickets, taking scrap items to the tip, fixing flywire and sliding door tracks.
Three members were back again yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) to knock off some interior painting.
“It is so heart-warming knowing that life at home will be a lot less stressful when I get home,” said Paul, who has suffered a serious knee injury and is facing a long journey towards rehabilitation.
A 20-year volunteer with Narre Warren Fire Brigade with 3000 fire calls under his belt, Paul (or ‘Tiny’ as he is better known) also works full time for CFA as a Brigade Admin Support Officer.
From his bed at Sandringham hospital Tiny Little yesterday wrote and filmed a heartfelt video message on his phone which he then posted to Facebook: Read the message here: https://www.facebook.com/paultiny.little/posts/10154421789769413
In the message he said: “After 19 days of hospitalization I received a call from the Captain of Narre Warren CFA, of which I’m a proud volunteer. He was asking some unusual questions about things at home.
“I managed to get out of him that there were about 20 firies at my home not just doing some lawn mowing or helping my wife - not just with a little bit of a spruce up, but a full grown makeover.”
Captain Paul Hardy said this was Tiny’s second operation to his knee requiring a long-term hospital stay, and the idea came up to hold a working bee to help until he could get back on his feet.
“We passed the hat around and people put in, and things went from there,” he said, adding the brigade even engaged an electrician to run some wiring out to the shed.
“Tiny and his wife Sue are both in the brigade. They are always out doing stuff and are so committed to the community.
“Their son is in softball so he is always helping out with that, and he’s a scout leader as well.”
Paul ‘Tiny’ Little said he knew of one member that had worked long into Saturday evening setting up furniture for his new shop, but had still turned up the next day to help out.
“I’m so thankful that they would give up a Sunday, and not just any Sunday, but a beautiful Sunday, to hang about at my house.”
“They are a really good brigade, a grouse brigade, very community focused,” Paul said. “Not just the firefighters but the auxillliary, the catering team, the juniors and the broader membership.
“If you could just bottle how this brigade works, how good would that be…"