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Hopetoun West, Yaapeet stations open
The Yaapeet and Hopetoun West communities welcomed their new fire stations at official ceremonies held in mid April.
“It was a fantastic day,” said Hopetoun West Captain John Webster. “There must have been about 50 people there and we had a barbecue lunch.
“It’s such a change. We started with nothing. We had a tin shed with a truck, a phone and a whiteboard. Now we’ve got this whole set up and there’s room for the quickfill trailer.”
The brigade has 60 members, 30 of them operational, and a good number of them got together at the station last year to watch the grand final. John believes this will be the first of many community gatherings in the new station and the same thing is happening down the road at Yaapeet Fire Station.
“We’ve had a few one-off events,” said Yaapeet Captain Troy ‘Boss’ Fisher. “We got together for the grand final, the Melbourne Cup and for an Australia Day breakfast.
“A few babies have been born in the area recently and the maternal health nurse has been meeting the mums and bubs at the station for their monthly checks rather than driving around to visit each one separately.”
Yaapeet had a quiet fire season with just six turnouts in their brigade area but that’s been enough to test out their new ultralight tanker. While the brigade received the vehicle last October, the keys were officially handed over at the station opening watched over by about 60 locals.
The ultralight funding came through both VESEP and a local grain drive. That means there are CFA members who are farmers in Kenmare, Rainbow and even John Webster from Hopetoun West who remind Troy that they have shares in Yaapeet’s truck.
For the next month, though, Troy’s vehicle of choice will be the tractor as he sows crops on his barley, canola, wheat and lentil farm.
Photos supplied by Hopetoun Courier