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Virtual station at Elmore Field Days
The Elmore Machinery Field Days are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the first week in October each year on a 1800-hectare site.
The field days sit between Bendigo, Shepparton, Echuca and only 1.5 hours from Melbourne, with traffic flowing from the Northern and Midland Highways. Forty thousand people attend over the 3 days with more than 40 aircraft landing on an airstrip in an adjacent field.
In the past years, Elmore and Corop West Brigades along with support from District 2 Spares have stationed tankers on the CFA site alongside members of the North West Region Community Education Group and CIS Peer Support.
In 2015 the Elmore Brigade combined with the North West Region Community Education Group to display local Tankers on the CFA Stand. This display consisted of tankers from Elmore, Corop West, Hunter-Diggora, Rochester and Goornong Fire Brigades as well as the Region 2 spare which was stationed at Elmore Fire Station to cover the brigade area.
In 2015, the first day of Elmore was declared a Total Fire Ban Day with hot dry gale winds right across the state. Major fires broke out at Lancefield along with spot fires around the district left 2 Tankers at the Elmore Field Days site and Operation Officers manning ICC’s. We owe thanks to the North West Region Community Education Group and brigade members for their efforts over the 3 days of the 2015 event.
After a meeting earlier in the year, the plan for 2016 followed on from Elmore Brigades winter community awareness campaign on campfires, smoke detectors, fire danger signs, logging burn offs, Fire Safe Kids and Total Fire Ban Days. CFA vehicles that were organised to attend were the Toolleen Ultra light, Rochester Tanker 2, Woodvale Slip On, Corop West, Elmore, Goornong and Hunter tankers as well as a new heavy tanker from the DMO’S. In addition to this the Region 2 spare tanker would remain at Elmore Station to again cover the brigade footprint and Crime Stoppers Victoria participated like they have for the previous 3 years with messaging about reckless fires and the zero tolerance campaign relating to arson.
Heavy rain in late September meant a change at the Field Days site. No aircraft were able to land on the airstrip; the field demonstrations were cancelled and access to and from the site became very limited. The decision was to use only 4 wheel drive vehicles and thanks need to go to Corop West, Toolleen and Rochester Brigades for their attendance and support over the 3 days.
On behalf of the Elmore Brigade, I would like to make mention of special thanks to the efforts of the North West Region Community Education Group and the CIS Peers. Paul Tangey, Doreen Raven, Wendy Cook, Ken Deveraux, Bill Bowery, Ray Waller and Ian Shelton along with Alec Wood and Norm Bowen once again this year put on a fantastic display for the public and continued to provide excellent support working with and mentoring members of brigades about community engagement. We couldn’t manage without their efforts in supporting the Elmore community, Elmore Brigade and the Whipstick Group. Thanks also to the staff that assisted from Districts 02, 20 and 22 over the 3 days.
Whipstick Group Officer