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First fire call turns into 22-hour school day
All firefighters remember their first callout, but Michael Austin’s first CFA outing was particularly memorable.
When he woke one Friday morning the then Foster brigade member probably didn’t predict that he’d be putting in a 22-hour day at school, even as his mates got to go home early.
“We were in class at about 2.30pm and someone reported a small of gas,” he said.
“They sent all the kids home but I decided to stay behind to see what was going on.
“It turned out to be a leaky gas bullet at the back of the gym.”
Michael, 16 at the time, had only just joined the brigade. He said the situation was a little scary at first but things settled down quickly once it became clear they were in for a long haul.
“We used fog branches to spray water on it, and stayed there spraying water.”
“We were there until about two in the morning when the gas and fuel company finally come to suck out the gas.
“I didn’t get out til daylight.”
The incident happened in 1985, but remains fresh in his mind, and is another tale to tell his 21-year old son, who has followed in his footsteps to join to brigade.
Michael, these days a Korumburra member, said he had signed up for the fire brigade on his 16th birthday.
“One of the teachers at school was a firefighter and I just knew I wanted to do it,” he said.
In the lead-up to Volunteer Week (9-14 May), CFA is highlighting and celebrating the commitment of its volunteer members.
The theme for National Volunteer Week 2016 is ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’. According to Volunteering Australia , research shows that volunteers live happier and healthier lives.