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Curyo Fire Station a social hub
***Captain Roger Lehmannand the Curyo Fire Brigade are being profiled as part of a special series focusing on volunteers to celebrate National Volunteer Week May 12-18.
Captain Roger Lehmann from CFA’s Curyo Fire Brigade can’t contain his enthusiasm for their new fire station and the chance it gives the whole community to socialise in all weathers.
“It’s spectacular,” says Roger. “Now we have a meeting room with heating and cooling, a kitchen and toilets as well as two bays for the trucks.
"Before we had a tin shed and one gathering a year. Now every Friday night anyone who wants a bit of a talk will drop in for a coffee or soft drink. My wife Dianne sends an email around and says, ‘Please let your neighbours and friends know’ and we might have anything between three and 15 people dropping in. We’re getting together people who didn’t used to get together very much.
“If it’s raining, being farmers, we like to have a good old chat about that or about the crops. Dianne calls it the Curyo pub because it’s that drop-in spot where you see your friends and catch up on the week.”
Since the station opened in 2012, the brigade has hosted about four or five barbecues a year with up to 40 locals attending and bringing a salad. The brigade also bought a table tennis table to make the social nights fun for the local children.
The meeting room has also been the venue for a Department of Environment and Primary Industries information session on boom sprayers.
“In my father’s day there was a tennis court, football oval, post office and supermarket,” continues Roger, “but now the fire station is the one community facility we have.
“At the official opening, the CFA operations manager said that this wasn’t just a fire brigade building – it was a community building,” continues Roger. “That’s exactly how it’s worked for us. It’s the best community thing a little place out of town like Curyo can have.
“Some people in our brigade were sceptical about the station when it was being built. They didn’t think we needed it. Now everyone has turned right around. It’s brought the community together but it’s also strengthened our fire brigade.”
A community grant provided funding for the local war memorial gates to be moved within the fire station grounds.
“We had an 8am service this Anzac Day with about 65 people there followed by breakfast at the fire station,” says Roger.
The brigade has also recently applied for a grant for a defibrillator which would be kept at the fire station and used by anyone in need in Curyo.