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Casey Group vehicle shoot
When the idea of a single photo of all the Casey Group appliances (District 8) was brought up at a Group meeting it was initially thought it would be impossible. We have 11 brigades with 39 vehicles in a very busy catchment.
The issues we faced were many and we soon realised most could not be eliminated only mitigated. But with the enthusiasm of the Casey Group Brigades we decided to have a fair crack at it anyway.
The Casey brigades are extremely busy, averaging around 5,500 fire calls per year, so time frames were our priority; we needed a statistically quiet time in the Casey Catchment that was within volunteer friendly hours. With a bit of research 9:00am on a Sunday morning was chosen, with the promise that all vehicles would be back in their stations by 10:00am.
We chose to attempt the photo during the winter months as it was more likely that all of our appliances were within our catchment area. We needed to ensure that with all the plans in place the photo was captured perfectly within 10 minutes of the appliances being staged so we recruited CFA photographer Keith Pakenham and the Dandenong Ladder Platform to launch him high enough in the air to take the shot.
With the week leading up to our first chosen date of July 27th being plagued with thick fog we were all happily surprised to see the sun shining down on our chosen location, the Cranbourne Racecourse.
It was an early start for the members of the Casey Group Brigades with appliances needing to depart their stations by 8:30am and an even earlier start for the neighbouring Group Brigades who stepped up to our stations to ensure our area was covered operationally.
Because of our tight time frames all vehicles were pre-staged in typology so our parking marshals could call in appliances in the correct order. It took approximately 25 minutes to stage all the vehicles for our photo.
There are many people to thank for their assistance on the day, our 8 parking marshals who staged 39 vehicles in record time using only a picture and some radios. A sincere thank you to our neighbouring brigades for stepping up into our areas, we look forward to returning the favour one day.
Operations Officer Greg Christison was in attendance with the Casey Group Management Team and said “what an amazing opportunity to showcase our capacity to service our Casey Community. This was a chance to get together all of our fire appliances and capture an image such as this. One of the critical factors whilst all of our appliances were staged for the photo was that there was to be no service delivery deficiency. DGO Ray Carr co-ordinated and planned a number of step ups into critical area’s within Casey for a two hour window to ensure that the photo would go ahead as planned.
All brigades were briefed that in the event of a significant incident either whilst at the photo shoot or enroute that the photo would be postponed until a later date. Big thanks to Beaconsfield, Somerville, Dandenong, Langwarrin, Upper Beaconsfield and Kooweerup and Lang Lang Fire Brigades for assisting and supporting the Casey Group on the day”.
Thank you to the crew of the Dandenong Ladder Platform and Keith Pakenham for enabling us to capture a photo that is of historic relevance to the Casey Group of Brigades. Finally a big thank you to the enthusiasm of the Casey Brigade members, if even one brigade had declined to participate this photo would have remained an idea only.