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Epping brigade celebrates 75 years of community service

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More than 120 current and former members, guests and family attended Epping Fire Brigade's 75th anniversary celebrations, which included the official handover of the brigade’s newest vehicle.

Epping brigade celebrates 75 years of community service

CFA Board Member Peter Shaw (left), Bronwyn Halfpenny MP, Captain Robert Saitta, Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp APM and Acting District 14 Operations Manager Paul Elso (right) standing in front of Epping newest truck, with its 75-year service certificate.

On 11 May people from across the state converged on Epping Fire Station to celebrate and reflect on 75 years of service to the Epping and surrounding community.

The event was attended by the Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp APM, CFA Board Member Peter Shaw, MFB Assistant Chief Officer Mark Swiney, Bronwyn Halfpenny MP (Member for Thomastown), Andrew Giles MP (Federal Member for Scullin), Craig Ondarchie (Member for the Northern Metropolitan Region) and Acting District 14 Operations Manager Paul Elso.

Those attending were taken on a journey back to 1944 by Captain Robert Saitta, when the brigade first commenced its operation responding to emergencies throughout the northern suburbs using beaters and knapsacks to tackle fast-moving grassfires. 

This would be the catalyst for the current Epping Fire Brigade, where road accident rescue would be a core part of the brigade’s business, engaging with the community in fire prevention would be another pillar of the brigade’s community service, and the development of a tight-knit community with one goal in mind: to protect lives and property.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp acknowledged the many strengths of the brigade, making the point that this strong brigade is committed to serving its community in more ways than one. He also spoke about the brigade’s strong commitment to serving communities elsewhere, noting the commitment of members willing to assist at the Bunyip Complex Fires and serving interstate at the Queensland fires 2018.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp APM thanking the brigade for its strong community service of the past 75 years.

CFA Board Member Peter Shaw spoke about the brigade’s history over the past 75 years and spoke highly of the brigade's strong commitment to volunteering while serving the Epping community with distinction. He also presented captain Robert Saitta with a 75-year certificate on behalf of CFA.

CFA Board Member Peter Shaw reflecting on the brigade's distinguished service before presenting the service certificate.

Bronwyn Halfpenny MP, Acting Operations Manager Paul Elso and the Emergency Management Commissioner officially handed over the keys to Epping's new medium pumper. Bronwyn Halfpenny spoke of the brigade’s commitment to its core mission. She acknowledged the hard work of previous and current members, and acknowledged and thanked the families and friends who sacrifice so much.

Bronwyn Halfpenny MP (left), Captain Robert Saitta, Acting District 14 Operations Manager Paul Elso and Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp APM (right) hand over the keys to Epping's newest truck.

Acting Operations Manager Paul Elso spoke about the importance of new equipment and how it can help the brigade to achieve its mission to serve the community and provide the best possible outcomes.

Acting District 14 Operations Manager Paul Elso speaks about the improved capability of the new medium pumper.

Ex Captain Heath Kenzie reflecting on his time at the brigade.

Community Safety Coordinator Deb Azzopardi reflects on the brigade's commitment to community safety and fire prevention.

Members of Epping Fire Brigade would like to thank all those who attended, in particular former members, friends and family. 

Here's to another 75 years.