Brucknell/Ayrford brigade located in District 6 was asked to be part of the ‘Help for Dairy’ initiative.
It is a new initiative which is encouraging partnerships between metropolitan-based brigades and country brigades that sit in a dairy farming area. This program was developed to help brigades that have been affected by the dairy industry crisis which began in 2016. This financial impact is having lasting effects on communities.
The majority of Brucknell/Ayrford members are dairy farmers so when this opportunity arose they were very keen to participate.
They believe they were very lucky to be paired with Warrandyte brigade in District 13. Prior to the brigade members meeting in person, Captain Trevor Smith and Warrandyte Captain Adrian Mullens spent many nights on the phone getting to know one another and their brigades.
It was decided that Warrandyte brigade would buy chainsaw protective equipment to donate to Brucknell. Trevor invited Warrandyte to their annual Australia Day Community function held on 26 January this year to meet the rest of the brigade and community.
Four members and a member’s partner from Warrandyte brigade made the journey down to the "Centre of the Universe", as Captain Trevor Smith likes to call his beloved Brucknell/Ayrford area.
A barbecue lunch and handover of the donated equipment was done and Trevor also organised a dairy farm tour for the Warrandyte members. This was a huge hit with the Warrandyte crew as they ended up staying for the whole milking process and before returning to the station for dinner and drinks.
A true friendship and bond was built in those few hours and both brigades feel that they would like to continue their new-found relationship into the future and make an annual get together.
Author: Amy Boyd