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Whittlesea Show 2017 4–5 November
CFA Voted 'Best Community Group Site' at 2018 Whittlesea Show
After another hectic three days of setting up and running the Whittlesea Show, it's time to think about how we can do it better.
The Whittlesea Diamond Valley Group Community Engagement Workgroup did the organisation again this year. To showcase CFA, the theme this year was 'We don’t just fight fires'.
We had the usual attractions. April Himmelreich's Fire Safety Show with the ever popular Captain Koala, gave two performances a day, one on the Oak Stage the other at our CFA Corner. Energetic April wowed the crowd and CK was mobbed. From the photos, you can see April with her backing group The Captainettes, all in their red helmets. Days after the show, I still had the 'Firefighter Shuffle' rolling around in my brain.
The two local road rescue brigades, Plenty and Epping, attended to show their skills in extracting a casualty from a car. We did some hard hitting commentary urging the community not to be in a position where they needed a rescue crew to attend. Thanks to Lt. Ash Bray from Plenty who talked to the audience throughout the exercise on Saturday for Plenty brigade.
On Sunday Epping brigade brought its state-of-the-art rescue appliance. Captain Adrian Marshman from Plenty did the commentary. Neither of the demonstrations could have gone ahead without the help of Andrew Alford, the Arthurs Creek brigade captain, who positioned the cars each day and removed them to the breakers yard after the show.
We again did a pot fire in a kitchen scenario. Our demonstrations were coordinated by Firefighter Dave Jenkins from Diamond Creek Fire Brigade. There's nothing like a bit of live Fire to get things going.
We also had a barbecue moving around the site and went through some of the safety aspects of barbecues including a gas leak.
On Saturday, the new, and not yet fully commissioned, Mernda Rehab Unit was on display showing the public how we look after our firefighters' health during a long fire.
On Sunday, Diamond Creek brigade displayed its big fill, with its high-tech engine for fast filling multiple tankers.
Arthurs Creek tanker 3. a light tanker, was a great hit with families queuing up for a photo opportunity (these are our firefighters of the future.). A light tanker is a perfect size for this job. Thanks to Arthurs Creek for allowing us to use it.
We changed the layout this year to open up the space, and it worked much better. We separated Kids Corner with the dreaded Badge Maker with the instructions written in pidgin English. The new kids' furniture worked very well. We are very fortunate to have the best community-minded members to engage with the children, namely Helen Kenny Yvonne Taylor, Steph Collins and Amber Taylor.
While the kids were kept amused we had time to engage with their parents.
Each day we did two burnover drills, this time including an FCV and talked the about how we get low in the cars and cover ourselves with a woollen blanket and suggested that it’s the same for the general public. So thanks to Whittlesea and Doreen brigades. Doreen's new recruits showed off their new skills at the show.
Finally, thanks to our Whittlesea Show organising committee drawn from Epping, St Andrews, Plenty, Doreen, Research, Whittlesea, Diamond Creek, R14 and Arthurs Creek brigades. Special thanks to Michelle Johnston, Adrian Marshman, Dave Jenkins Rohan Thornton and Trevor Kinsey. It’s a team effort.
We were Honoured to win the 'Best Community Group Site' in the show and given a large banner and a Bunnings Voucher for $100.
By Whittlesea/Diamond Valley Group DGO Michael Chapman