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Vale Rod Miloschew

  | Fiona Macken Views: 640

After nearly 25 years of service, the Diamond Creek Fire Brigade sadly said farewell to a much loved member, Rod Miloschew, last week. Rod represented everything about why diversity in the CFA should be embraced. 

Vale Rod Miloschew

Rod selling Christmas trees at Diamond Creek Fire Brigade's major annual fundraiser

Rod Miloschew joined the Diamond Creek Fire Brigade on the 7th of December 1998 and in ensuing years received his 10-year medal, 15-year clasp and 20-year medal. Rod was awarded the National Emergency Medal in recognition of his sustained service during the Black Saturday Fires response and in 2011 Rod was awarded the Diamond Creek Fire Brigade Captain’s award. 

Rod attended virtually all monthly meetings and Sunday station duty commitments, despite travelling far greater distances to attend than most other members. Rod was also a founding member of the CFA District 14 Headquarters East Brigade, where he made a valued contribution. 

Beyond those acknowledgements, Rod endeared himself to all within the Diamond Creek Fire Brigade and many in the broader CFA family.

Rod was born on 1st May 1969 with spina bifida. The doctors described Rod's case as one of the worst they had seen. Rod walked with calipers in his younger years, but as an adult he chose to get around using a wheelchair. He was affectionately known to all in the Diamond Creek brigade as "Wheels". 

When the brigade gathered to announce his sudden passing, no one moved for a long time. Among the personal attributes mentioned by members as we sat there contemplating Rod was how welcoming he was to new members, his great and slightly quirky sense of humour, his willingness and ability to share his knowledge of radios and communications, his ‘can do’ attitude and his general enthusiasm for all things CFA.

Rod contributed to the heart and soul of Diamond Creek Fire Brigade, as well as the wider CFA, where Rod made an impact on all he interacted with, and with his affinity for the radio, that included many people. Rod’s voice was a regular across our wider local area, conducting the Sunday morning radio schedule for the Whittlesea Diamond Valley Fire Brigades Group regularly. Rod was always keen to assist members of the brigade to improve their knowledge of radio communications. Rod would listen to the scanner when calls came through, to make sure he was up-to-the-minute with all that was going on.

The public face of the CFA is people in yellow on red fire trucks, but those people in yellow and those red fire trucks could not do what they do without the unseen ones behind the scenes providing support and communications. That was Rod, less visible but just as important.

If there was fundraising to be done, Rod was there, spending more hours than almost anybody selling Christmas Trees, the Diamond Creek Brigade major fundraiser. As many CFA Brigades do, Diamond Creek also supports fundraising for the Salvos. Rod would spend hours at the main intersection in town rattling a collection tin, dodging cars and even once being clipped by a car. It would take far more than that to faze Rod however! Rod was also a passionate supporter of the Good Friday Appeal, especially the CFA/MFB Treadmill Challenge and collecting with the brigade. 

Rod was a regular at the Diamond Creek Town Fair, promoting the brigade and fire safety to the community and he also represented the Brigade on the local Blue Light Disco Committee and worked at the Blue Light Discos, helping to keep local youth safe. 

In his professional life, Rod had worked for many years reviewing images captured by speed cameras. Over the years a few Brigade members asked if a photo or two could "slip through" unnoticed, but Rod would never compromise his morals and it was clear no one's photos would be "slipping through".

Rod, you’ve been a great mate and contributor to your CFA family and to the broader community. You will be sadly missed and very fondly remembered. Thank you for your service and for your friendship. Rest in Peace Rod.