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Charlton raises its profile
No one expected the one-in-200-year flood that hit Charlton in 2011 to return with full force a few months later.
Touch wood, fire brigade members who worked alongside the local football club, Rotary and Lions to rebuild the community will never again see such a deluge.
In the same spirit of renewal, the brigade with 12 operational members is recruiting. One aspect of its campaign has been to hang posters in local shop windows with profiles of current members.
“We include a quote about what each person enjoys about the brigade,” said Second Lieutenant Michelle Ryan. “It gets you recognised and we hope it also makes us more approachable. We’d like to get some young ones from college even if we only have them for a year before uni.
“Being in the brigade has given me so much confidence within myself and it could do the same for them.
“We’re also looking at re-engaging some drifting members with a family day barbecue. It’s a chance for a casual chat about the different ways they might be able to contribute and reinvest their time.”
All suggestions made by members to generate local interest and educate the community are written on a board and given a time frame: what can they work on now; what can they complete within a year. The brigade will also stir up interest by appearing at this year’s local agricultural show, boosted by two mobile training props.
“At last year’s show we had kids shooting barrel targets with the hoses,” said Captain Craig Walsh, “and this year we’ll put on a show with the props. We’ve also built a burn table and there’s a replica kitchen in the planning stages.”