Members who wear more than one hat

Some CFA volunteers serve the community in their day job as well as in their spare time. Ken Dwight is a police officer at Woods Point.  


Once a thriving gold-mining town, Woods Point now attracts trail bikers and four-wheel drive enthusiasts. Among the handful of small buildings lining the high street is a one-member police station run by Leading Senior Constable Ken Dwight, who’s also the town’s third lieutenant with the fire brigade.

“The community is my job” just about sums up Ken’s commitment to Woods Point and the surrounding area. He’s been a police officer and CFA volunteer for almost 30 years and an SES volunteer for around 20 years.

“I pretty much do everything along with the other brigade members and our ambulance ACOs [ambulance community officers], but I’m usually the first port of call,” said Ken. “It’s the best job I’ve had in the police force. 

“The nearest SES units are Marysville and Mansfield, so I’m usually the first at an incident. The SES rarely gets up here so we do our best.”

According to Ken, being a CFA member helps his police work. “Being an experienced bush and urban firefighter is a great benefit to my role as a police officer. When you work in the regions, you become more a part of the community by being a firefighter. You work with and get to know the local people, and that helps me as a police officer. 

“I can’t always be someone’s best friend when being a policeman, but I have to get on with people and being a volunteer helps.”

Ken has been at Woods Point for 13 years, so played an active role in the 2006 fire that threatened the town, as well as the 2009 fires. 

“In December 2006, I looked out of the window just as lightning struck the top of the ridge across the river from my office. Luckily, choppers put that fire out, but there was a terrible battle with the Mt Terrible fire. It just kept going relentlessly.

“It came over the hills from the north-west and came towards the river. It got right up to the back of houses.

“During the fire, I was doing everything I could. I helped the brigade and was running around warning people throughout my patrol area.

“After the fire, Woods Point was a green teardrop surrounded by black.”

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, a few months later, Woods Point was hit with floods. “We lost the main road and we were cut off because of landslides. It was a mess,” said Ken.

But despite being involved in everything - or perhaps because of it - Ken would like more people to wear two hats. 

“I work alone and rely a lot on CFA and SES members, and I love it. I’d encourage other police officers to have a go and join a CFA brigade. I’ve learned a lot as a firefighter and in road rescue with CFA, and it’s a great experience.”

Author: CFA News