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Elaine volunteers receive community award
Five young members from Elaine Fire Brigade have been honoured for their professionalism while responding to last year’s Scotsburn fire.
Natasha Ford (16), Brady Dunne (16), Anthony Young (17), Tristan Mair (17) and Matthew Wetherall (21) were among five hundred CFA members who fought the blaze in December last year.
Last night they took out the community contribution category at Moorabool Shire Council’s youth awards.
Mayor Allan Comrie said “They showed exceptional maturity and teamwork during the Scotsburn fires. The risk they took in order to protect their community, their ability to put their training into practice, to reduce risk to themselves and their community, and their ability to work as a team and communicate effectively, are the reason they have been chosen as very worthy winners.”
The five had completed minimum skills just a month before the Scotsburn fire.
Natasha’s father Russell was one of their trainers. He said when the Scotsburn jobs started coming in last December “The kids were excellent. They were calm and well-trained. They really knew what to do.”
“They’re pretty dedicated. They really work as a team. It’s a real tribute to the brigade.”
When the pager went off Brady ran to the station because he’s too young to drive by himself. Later he, Matthew and some other Elaine members had to use their burn over drills because of fast moving fire and thick smoke.
That same day Natasha used her new training to help save her own home. On Christmas Day she and her father spent ten hours fighting fires.
Russell Ford hopes the award motivates other young people to help bolster CFA’s ranks.
“It’s great to be recognised. One of the big problems is getting new members to join, so to be recognised like this is terrific.”