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Smoke and flames, all before school
Firefighters always remember their very first call-out, but not too many can say they knocked off their first fire call before school.
At a time well before most teenagers would think of dragging themselves out of bed, Samuel de Rosa found himself sprinting down the road to the fire station.
The then 16-year old was already up at 5.50am getting ready for his before school job when a call came through from the Eaglehawk captain.
“The station was just around the corner from my house,” Sam said.
“On the way I could smell the thick smoke in the air - turned out it was a structure fire a block away.
“The house was engulfed in flame when we arrived.
“The Captain told me to source water but the nearest hydrant was faulty. I ran off down the street looking for a working hydrant when a tanker arrived, luckily. We got the water from it. After that I helped crews swap over their breathing apparatus.”
“I was even home in time to change for school!”
Sam said his adrenaline was pumping but the many hours spent training – including more than three years with Eaglehawke Juniors - made all the difference.
“I’ve had great mentors in the leadership team at Eaglehawk. That got me through the first callout safely,” he said.
In the lead-up to Volunteer Week (9-14 May), CFA is highlighting volunteer members like Sam who dedicate hours of their time to helping the community.
Now 17, Sam has already attended more than 70 incidents with Eaglehawk brigade.
As well as fighting fires himself, he’s made it his mission to attract more Junior (under-16) members to Eaglehawk, and to mentor the ones coming through.
Sam’s commitment to volunteering is all the more impressive given the amount this Bendigo Senior Secondary College student has on his plate. He plays volleyball and soccer, coaches sport, helps raise funds for community organisations, and works part-time.
“Be it as a Junior or senior member, it’s great to get involved in the local community, make good friendships and learn some important life skills along the way.”
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.