After two years of not being able to hold a community open day because of COVID-19, Tyabb Fire Brigade on the Mornington Peninsula is back with a bang.
The brigade’s well-organised open day attracted more than 500 community members who enjoyed demonstrations and games and learned about fire safety from brigade members.
Brigade Captain Jarrod Vetesi was impressed with the level of work carried out by Lieutenant Brett Wittmer and the social team to organise such a successful event.
“Brett and the team did all the hard yards,” Jarrod said. “He made a fantastic effort and took the open day to another level.
“I couldn’t believe the number of people who came along. The weather was perfect and I think families were looking for an activity to do.”
The event was meticulously promoted through the brigade’s Facebook page, by delivering letters to locals and by placing posters in town.
“It’s amazing how we can get the word out on social media. It’s better than a letterbox drop,” Jarrod said. “It’s also important to reach out to local businesses.”
Bread and sausages were donated by local companies for a sausage sizzle.
“We had donation tins for the sizzle and the money we raised covered the cost of the drinks we gave out free of charge.”
The brigade organised plenty of engaging activities, including an industrial mobile prop with volunteers doing live fire training.
“We ran the prop three times during the open day because it was so popular with the community," Jarrod said.
“Langwarrin Rescue came along to demonstrate how they use their new battery-powered rescue equipment, cutting up a car donated by Somerville Towing.”
To entertain the kids, the brigade had a water shoot at the front of the station and face painting. Plus, all the trucks were on display.
Coast Guard also came along with a boat to talk about fishing safety and boat safety.
“But it’s important to remember what this event was about: recruitment and passing on fire safety messages,” Jarrod said. “We signed up three new members.
“I told the brigade members we were there to talk to the community, so all members chatted to them. The brigade gave out pamphlets about preparing for bushfires and talked to the community about their fire plans.
“I was especially impressed by the three Morris sisters, who are members of the social team. The girls have been around the brigade since they were very young and after the unfortunate passing of their father Lieutenant Ian Morris. They then all joined together as firefighters and have just finished their General Firefighter training. They are all doing outstanding work in the brigade, helping the community and has brought some needed fun into our brigade.
“Diversity in a brigade is important, so it’s fantastic to have these three sisters getting involved in the brigade and community.”
Tyabb brigade was formed in 1944. It has about 35 members.
The brigade averages 150 callouts per year and this number is growing due to an increase in industrial and residential buildings in the area.
The brigade has been in the news several times because it has attended B-double gas truck fires and fuel tanker rollovers in the Tyabb area. Brigade members also attend structure and bushfires and support neighbouring brigades.
The brigade also assists the group/district in strike team duties.
This story is part of a new profile series which highlights our brigades and the great work they do in their communities.
Public link: Brigades of CFA
CFA member link: Brigades of CFA
Each week we will share a story from a different brigade, with all stories to be featured on the CFA website so all communities can learn more about our brigades.
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