With encouragement from his son, Mick Crompton has been instrumental in getting Kyabram Fire Brigade’s Juniors program back up and running after a long hiatus.
Mick has taken on a lot of roles in his 28 years at CFA including Captain, District Group Officer and Community Safety Officer, but found himself taking on the role of Junior Leader when his son pushed for the program to come back to Kyabram.
Though Kyabram brigade used to have a Juniors program, lack of interest over time meant that it stopped running for a number of years.
“My son Kane was the driving force behind us getting Juniors back up and running,” Mick said.
“He would always come along to the station when we were doing clean-ups or working bees, and he’d seen competition running on TV. He asked if we had a Juniors program, and when we told him we didn’t, he said we should. So, we chatted to the district office and they helped us to set it up.”
Though Mick fell into the role of Junior Leader more by circumstance, he said he’s incredibly glad he did.
“Seeing the way that the children develop is really special,” he said.
“They’ll come along on their first night and some can be quite shy, but it’s great to see them progress as they come to more sessions. They’ll start to get in there and have a go. Their confidence increases and before you know it, they’re having a great time.”
Mick, pictured above with son Kane, said it was important to invest in our members and develop their skills from a young age because it benefits CFA as a whole.
“It teaches them life skills and leadership skills,” Mick said.
“It also gives them a sense of community and helps them to understand that there’s a lot of organisations out there that don’t function without volunteers.
“They’re our future. The Juniors program is a stepping stone to encourage more volunteers to join CFA.”
Mick said he feels thankful for all that he’s learned about himself and the Junior members through his time as a Junior Leader.
“Being a Junior Leader gives you a sense of achievement, it makes you feel as though you’re making a difference for some of the kids out there,” he said.
“Particularly with our brigade, we have a few members on the autism spectrum. It helps you realise that not every child is the same; every child is different and they all interpret information differently.
“Everyone is unique and they all love to have a go.”
To anyone thinking about joining up to their local Juniors program, Mick said it’s absolutely worth it.
“Come along, see what we do and have a go. You’ll be surprised at the skills you’ll learn along the way.”
Mick’s story is part of a new series profiling Junior Leaders across the state. To find out more about our Juniors program, visit the CFA website.