Epping Fire Brigade celebrates 80 years

Member News image Group photo of Epping brigade members past and present


Members, former volunteers and dignitaries have come together to mark the 80th anniversary of the Epping Fire Brigade.


On Saturday 16 March an event was held to celebrate the brigade's development and long history of serving the local community.

Captain Rob Saitta first joined Epping brigade in 1994 and said he was most proud of the comradery the brigade has, which he says is like a second family.

"We go through good and bad times together and we're always there for each other" said Rob.

The Epping Rural Fire Brigade was formed on March 6 in 1944 to protect the town from fires and other emergencies.

The brigade’s first Station was built in Houston Steet Epping and in 1988 the station was relocated to its new and current location at O'Hern's Road in Epping.

The Epping Brigade has been involved in many major fires across Victoria including the Ash Wednesday Fires in 1983 and the Black Saturday Fires of 2009.

"On Black Saturday our tanker was involved in a burnover with a couple of other trucks. The members who were there saved a family by putting them on the back of a truck as fire overran their house," said Rob.

"The trucks got scorched and burnt and the crews had to put out a mayday but everyone survived."

Another notable incident occurred in November 2014 when the brigade responded to a house fire in Great Brome Avenue in Epping.

When they arrived they were confronted by a double story house which was well alight. Some of the occupants had managed to escape but a father and one of his children remained trapped on the upstairs balcony.

The crews set a ladder to the balcony with hose lines deployed for protection and rescued the father and child. This rescue earnt the brigade a Unit Citation from the Chief Officer and CFA.

Over the years road accidents became more common and in 1979 Epping became a Rescue Brigade to better serve the changing needs of the community. Prior to this the closest Rescue Unit came from MFB (now FRV) in the city which could took around an hour to arrive at a vehicle accident.

The skills and expertise of the Epping Fire Brigade are always in demand and members have not only travelled to help in other parts of Victoria but they have also been deployed to New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania in their times of need.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Jason Heffernan said the event on the weekend was a great celebration of a brigade with a long history.

"It's clear from hearing the history of the brigade that Epping has always kept the community at the centre of what it does and to this day it has never lost that focus," said Jason.

"I want to thank and recognise all the members past and present who have given so much to Epping over the last eight decades."


  • Member News imageCaptain Rob Saitta reflecting on the history of the brigade
  • Member News image Acting CEO Jason Heffernan
  • Member News image
  • Member News image
  • Member News image The unveiling of the Honour Board
Submitted by CFA Media