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Faces of CFA: Tyson Poole, Bonnie Doon
What is your involvement with CFA?
I did Minimum Skills at the end of 2013 and at the moment I’m a firefighter.
Why did you join?
Well, the fire station is about 10 metres from my house. It has a siren and it does work! Now they’ve fully renovated and it doesn’t go off at night but you still hear it during the day.
My dad [Mark Poole] has been in the brigade for 10 years and if there’s an incident he’s always the first at the shed. He opens it up and gets the truck out then mans the shed and writes down all the fire and crew details on our whiteboard.
My friend Brodie joined the brigade the year before me. Everyone I knew in Bonnie Doon was in it and I knew it would be fun. I was interested in mechanical things anyway and I know how trucks work. That makes me useful and [Captain Stuart Evans] Stuey says it’s helpful that I’m so mechanical.
What was the first incident you attended?
There was a really big grassfire in summer along the Midland Highway. It was started by an angle grinder and I couldn’t believe someone was using it in long grass in a paddock.
What incident has had the greatest impact on you?
Probably one of the biggest and most out of control was near Strathbogie Forest. The helicopters were water bombing and there were lots of trucks there when we stopped for dinner. We were also at the Kancoona bushfire until about midnight keeping the fenceline wet.
After turning out to an incident, what meal do you crave?
A good old chicken parma.
What CFA training have you got the most out of?
Minimum Skills, obviously, because it really helped me understand what’s expected. I also did a structure fire course at Wangaratta and learned about flashovers and the different colours of the smoke. I haven’t used what I learned there yet but I will.
What are the benefits of volunteering in CFA?
You get community recognition and you stand out more. There’s the chance to be kept busy and spend more time with people I already know from around town.
What CFA roles do you see yourself pursuing?
Our captain and a few others keep planting the seed that I’ll be the captain one day because I’m so enthusiastic and I started so young. Stuey’s teaching me the ropes in an informal way. Also, we just got a brand new tanker – our other one was 28 years old and has only done 64,000 kilometres but there’s plenty of wear and tear. Stuey is leading me towards being the tanker expert because I’m a practical thinker. We’ve all done the formal training course for the new tanker but I might train any members who missed out on how to operate it.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m in Year 12 and I also pack shelves at night at IGA. I go four-wheel driving, motorbike riding and camping with friends. Next year I’m going to TAFE in Wodonga to start a two-year course in motorsports and mechanical engineering. I still want to be involved in Bonnie Doon brigade when I come back on weekends.