Kangaroo Flat running team, circa 1890
If brigades were assigned a number, Kangaroo Flat Fire Brigade would be number 16, reason being, it was the sixteenth brigade to join the Country Fire Brigades Board 150 years ago.
According to newspaper reports at the time, the formation of the brigade in 1873 coincided with a boost in police resources across the township, following residents’ concerns about a rise in crime at the time.
Forever tied together in history, the local partnership between the fire brigade and police unit continued for over 80 years, with the first engine house located within the police reserve on Short Street, Kangaroo Flat.
The brigade called Short Street home until the construction of a new fire station on Station Street in 1956. After the brigade outgrew this site, they relocated to a modern, purpose-built station on Helm Street in 2015 and the brigade continues to respond from this site to this day.
With assistance from fellow fire brigade enthusiasts, brigade member and 3rd Lieutenant Ben Miller has documented the brigade’s history in a book titled The Remarkable History of the Kangaroo Flat Fire Brigade, which was launched at a brigade dinner in August 2023.
At the anniversary dinner, Chief Officer Jason Heffernan received a copy of this book.
In response, Chief Officer Heffernan presented the brigade with a 150-year anniversary plaque, a significant piece of memorabilia which will be proudly displayed at the station.
While their mission is to protect lives and property, Kangaroo Flat Fire Brigade has a long and proud history of competing in State Championships, with the earliest known brigade running team dating back to 1890.
Captain James O’Brien said competing in Champs is still an important part of brigade life for current members of the running team.
"Competing in these events is a testament to the strong sense of camaraderie and pride among our brigade members. It's not just about winning; it's about showcasing our skills, discipline, and teamwork," said James.
With the community at the centre of everything they do, celebrations stretched across the whole weekend, culminating with a brigade open day on Sunday. James said the pinnacle of the weekends celebrations was opening the doors of the station to the community.
“It was fantastic to see the community enjoy all the activities on Sunday, especially after nine months of hard work and planning,” he said.
“We had the obligatory sausage sizzle, as well as a jumping castle and face painting for the kids. There were also station tours and displays from our multi agency partners.
“However, the highlight of the day was the brigade procession from Dower Park to the station on Helm Street, where neighbouring brigades joined Kangaroo Flat members in celebrating this momentous occasion.”
- Chief Officer Jason Heffernan with Captain James O'Brien
- Captain Koala with Captain James O'Brien
- Kangaroo Flat's International front-mounted pumper
- Kangaroo Flat's fire station in Station St in 1993