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Opening of Beulah Fire Station
The community of Beulah saw another page written in history on Sunday 23 June 2013, when they attended the opening of Beulah’s new fire station.
The station was funded by the State Government Rural Fire Station Replacement Program with a budget of $470,000.00 and built by CPM Building Contractors.
Story and photos by Deborah Riggall
With everyone having taken their seat in the twin engine bay, MC and Operations Manager Bill Johnstone, District 18 CFA Loddon Mallee Region, stepped up to start the proceedings.
Bill called upon Yarriambiack Shire Councillor Helen Ballentine, who represented Mayor Kylie Zanker, to say a few words, before CFA Loddon Mallee Regional Director Patrick O’Brien had his say on the opening. Pat then introduced MP Peter Crisp, Member for Mildura, to officially open the new station.
Mr Crisp said, ‘It’s my pleasure to be here on behalf of Police and Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells, for this significant day for the Beulah Community. This new fire station is fitting recognition of the important contribution this brigade has made to the state’s emergency service and we are proud to support our emergency services volunteers by providing them with the facilities and equipment they need to save lives and property.”
Mr Crisp then called upon Beulah Captain Alan Smith to join him with the unveiling of the plaque. Captain Smith thanked all those involved with the project and invited everyone to enjoy a cuppa and afternoon tea.
Also attending the opening was Operations Officer Gavin Wright, Group Officers Doug Afford from the Southern Mallee Group and Trevor Wyatt from Murrayville and Border Group.
100 years of Beulah Fire Brigade
This year we celebrate the official presence of a fire brigade in Beulah for 100 years. There is record of the brigade attending a house fire in Beulah, with the cause reported as a spark from a stove, and the fire was extinguished by means of reel, hydrant and 400ft of hose. The date was 12 February 1913.
The first captain was James Monger, but his term was short as he moved away from the district and was succeeded by James Whitty. In 1914, a new shed was built where 21 Bell Street is and opened in March 1915.
A fire shed was built in 1923 to house equipment; this was located on the western side of our existing property. The shed’s facade was rebuilt later to accommodate a truck.
A Bush Fire Brigade was initiated in November 1942 with the first captain being W. Murray. Levies were raised to purchase new equipment to improve the ability to control and extinguish fires.
Beulah has been well served by an Urban Brigade to service the town and a Rural Brigade to service farmland and property and assist around town.
A new station costing $30,000 was started in May 1976 and completed in August 1976 and was officially opened on Sunday 3 October 1976 by the Deputy Chairman of the Country Fire Authority Mr C.S.Diffey to improve facilities and house the town pumper and rural tanker.
In 1983 the two brigades amalgamated and consolidated into one brigade under the title Beulah Rural Fire Brigade.
Beulah has been an active brigade in many ways, participating in fire prevention competitions and Urban and Rural Demonstrations, and sent many members to large campaign fires throughout Victoria and neighbouring states.
Beulah has had a strong member base in the past and currently has 91 members, many trained in wildfire, low structure, first aid, breathing apparatus and driving under operational conditions.
The general consensus from the community who attended the opening is that Beulah’s new fire station is a fantastic facility and will indeed be a great asset to the community.
There were many comments about the day, but this comment summed it all up:
‘Never underestimate the power of volunteers and never underestimate how much we all appreciate volunteers’