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D14 HQ Brigade : RSU to HQ Brigade
From its beginnings as the RSU (Regional Support Unit) the District 14 Headquarters brigade has been serving District 14 and surrounds for the last 18 years.
Initially formed in partnership between the Bacchus Marsh Lions Club and CFA, the RSU was formed in time for the 1996/97 fire season to assist the regional headquarters to release operational members during a large incident.
The team consisting of six members from the Bacchus Marsh Lions Club, three CFA members from Bacchus Marsh and other interested parties undertook the task as a Lions Club project. Current CFA board member Michael Tudball and Operations Officer David Clancy were the driving force behind the project and Operations Manager Peter Baker provided valuable support to the unit.
The unit provided manpower for office, clerical and transport duties and anything that was needed appropriate to the training for the volunteers.
The RSU grew and developed from there, with training to allow members to work in ICCs, on firegrounds and flight following, allowing the Region to operate "milk runs" on all TFBs from Fogarty's Field Melton. Members also operated the phone desk, delivered supplies to stations, transferring vehicles, driving personnel to and from fires and working within other region HQs ICCs and RECCs.
Members worked a roster so that two members of the RSU were on roster each weekend - tasked as required and skills updated by duty officers in slower times.
The unit then developed into its current form as the District 14 Headquarters Brigade and currently has 15 members who have a combined 220 years of service. Members are skilled in AIIMS, IMS, Flight Following, Resources, Mapping, Staging Area Management, Comms and Public Information.
The brigade is led by Captain Mal Rogers, who has been at the helm since the RSU was first created. Alongside Captain Rogers the brigade management team is made up of First Lieutenant Andre Weinberger, Second Lieutenant/ Training Manager Dale Hausler, Comms Officer Peter Gist and Secretary Don Clark.
The brigade is currently looking for members to join the brigade.