Fifteen years ago Diane Lawson, now the captain of Gordon Fire Brigade, approached the local primary school to run the Fire Safe Kids program. The program is still going strong and is also on the curriculum for the other local primary school and kindergarten.
Through the program the kids learn how to call Triple Zero (000), learn about home fire safety and understanding the fire risks in their local community.
Roger Lowery, community safety coordinator at the brigade, now runs the program at the schools with help from other brigade members.
“Kids love seeing emergency services personnel and really learn from the program. The best bit is that they take the fire safety messages home and educate other members of their family,” Roger said.
With a town population of around 1,200, Roger believes they reach over 80 per cent of the community through the partnerships.
As well as running the program, the brigade strengthens relationships and trust by visiting the schools at Christmas with Santa on the back of the truck.
This partnership continues to grow, and for the past two years the brigade has partnered with the schools and other community groups to organise and run the Gordon annual community fair.
“Being a small community, fundraising can be difficult so it makes sense to join forces,” Roger said.
“More than 1,000 people attend the event and enjoy rides, local produce, art and crafts, and an opportunity to meet local brigade members. All these activities help to connect the community, and a connected community is an informed and resilient community.”