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Fireman Sam to the rescue
Bairnsdale firefighter Sam McPherson takes his commitment to firefighting to a new level – attending fire calls only moments after the birth of his daughter and the morning after his wedding.
***Sam McPherson is a CFA volunteer who is being profiled as part of a special series celebrating National Volunteer Week***
Sam has been a CFA volunteer for 10 years and his dedication to protecting lives and property is very impressive.
A couple hours after his daughter was born, Sam said the hospital fire alarm went off.
“I looked at my wife to see her reaction and she said ‘go on, go down and see the guys’,” he said.
“It was late in the evening and the hospital was closed to visitors so no one really knew I was there.”
“I walked around to investigate what had happened and met the guys at the fire indicator panel. They were all quite surprised to see me.”
“Fortunately there was nothing serious in the fire alarm – for memory someone had just burnt some toast.”
A few months later, Sam and his partner had a small, private wedding with family members. At 6am the next morning his pager went off…
“My wife gave me the look and said ‘yeah ok off you go’. I told her I’d be home soon which wasn’t quite the case but I’m lucky I have an amazingly supportive wife!” he said.
After the 2003 fires in East Gippsland, two of Sam’s friends from high school encouraged him to join CFA and he’s never looked back.
“I love the camaraderie amongst the guys. It doesn’t matter what the job is or what time it is, we can always have a laugh and a joke later on when the pressure is off,” he said.
“Now that I have a family, I’m more mindful of the time I spend away from my family but we’ve all got young families so we’re all very understanding of each other’s needs.
“I can plan my life around the CFA meetings and training sessions but fire calls can obviously happen at any time of the day or night which is more difficult but my wife is very supportive which makes it easier for me.”
Sam is encouraging people to consider becoming a CFA volunteer.
“It’s such a diverse organisation with a role for everyone. There’s the stereotype of being a big buff person to fight fires but that’s not the case. You don’t have to be on the back of a fire truck.”
Sam’s selflessness and ongoing dedication to CFA and the community are just a couple of many traits that mark volunteerism which is being celebrated during National Volunteer Week from 11-17 May.
Photo by Alice Campbell Photography.