A friendship forged in floods

Member News image The Flag Presentation


On Sunday 3 March the refurbished Doreen Fire Station was officially opened. However, other significant events took place on that day. This is just one of them.


Rochester Fire Brigade Captain Luke Warren, 1st Lieutenant Brett Kyne and 4th Lieutenant Hayley Ettershank presented Doreen brigade with a framed CFA flag that had been gifted to them in the aftermath of the 2022 floods in Rochester.

Captain Luke Warren spoke about the positive impact the CFA strike teams had on the Rochester community following the 2022 floods, and the assistance provided by the crews during the recovery efforts.

At the station opening 4th Lieutenant Hayley Ettershank explained the significance of the flag to those at the event.

"So this amazing flag… it’s hard to really put into words how much it means and meant to us on the day it arrived in a care package from Captain Rob and Doreen brigade," Hayley said.

"We’d met Rob when he was the strike team leader of ST1421, and he was heading home from his deployment. Rob said he had a few itemss he wanted to send back up to the guys at Rochester. A care package so to speak.

"We were nearly at our wits end at Rochester. Most brigade members had been affected in some way by the flood and we were just mentally and physically exhausted. Then our care package arrived full of wonderful things for the brigade, but overwhelmingly the most significant item was this flag. Our flag hanging up on the flag pole was tattered, faded and worn - exactly how we felt - and here was a shiny new flag. 

"It's hard to put into words, but there was nothing that we needed more. We had a moment as we hung it straight up and watched it flutter. That was our turning point and we shall forever be grateful.

"This is that flag, including a group photo taken at our station, the Doreen field command vehicle at our silos and, of course, this flag flying high the moment we hung it up. Doreen brigade gifted us many things including passing the hat around and a wonderful painted helmet to hang in our station. Framing the flag for Doreen brigade to us was the perfect gift to reciprocate our feelings of what Doreen’s generosity meant to us in what was one of our greatest times of need.

"I’ll finish by reading the inscription we have added to the frame.

"A symbol of the resilience and hope provided to the members of the Rochester Fire Brigade during the 2022 flood event and signifying the beginning of a strong friendship between Doreen and Rochester fire brigades.

"Please hang it with pride in your new station to signify the friendship forged between our two brigades brought together by the one goal."

We are CFA family. It’s just what we do.

The framed flag will be displayed in the new meeting room at Doreen Fire Station.


  • Member News imageRobert, Hayley, Luke, Brett and Heidi
  • Member News image A contingent of Rochester Members made the journey to Doreen
  • Member News image Rochester Captain Luke Warren and Doreen Captain Robert Bury
  • Member News image The Flag
  • Member News image Captain Luke Warren addresses the crowd
Submitted by Robert Bury