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Demonstrating volunteer values in East Gippsland
Routine inspections, stopping fuel leaks, taking care of their family and fitting in their ‘day job’ as a carpenter proves all in a day’s work for these CFA volunteers.
On Monday (27 June), District 10 Operations Officer Dave Ellams was on his way to visit the Won Wron fire station to complete a routine inspection.
Over his pager, Dave received information that a Carrajung fire brigade was responding to a van leaking diesel on the Hyland Hwy in Carrajung.
“I knew it would be tricky for Carrajung to attend because volunteer brigade members would not be at the station during the day. As I was already meeting Captain Harley Bowden at Won Wron, I asked him if he could pick up the job and he got right on the case,” Dave said.
Harley’s partner Kayla Grombridge juggles being a new mum and the station’s secretary. She was quickly on the phone to organise supporting crews to help Harley attend the incident.
Meanwhile, Harley changed into his protective gear, jumped in to the CFA tanker and headed off to the job while Dave had driven ahead to help locate the incident.
When they arrived, the pair discovered a logging truck had run over a white, plastic road marker, which flicked out at a courier van driving behind, and pierced its fuel tank.
“Harley put his skills into practice, using CFA equipment to stop the leak, reattach the fuel line to the tank and start covering some of the leaked fuel with roadside sand. He cancelled the supporting truck and let VicRoads know about the leak, arranging for representatives to bring extra sand to mop up the spill,” Dave said.
Harley helped the courier driver safely get back to his job on the road, before joining Kayla and Dave back at the station to complete the inspection. After all that, Harley went on to carry out his paid work as a local carpenter for the rest of the afternoon.
“As I drove home last night, I reflected on the day and came to the conclusion that this is what CFA is all about,’ Dave said.
“Here we have a young family made up of the Won Wron Fire Brigade Captain and the station’s secretary – both volunteers - working together to help their community, meanwhile caring for their eight-month-old son and fitting in paid employment.
“It’s a true demonstration of CFA being for the community, by the community and from the community.”