Geelong City Captain Jeremy Egan
Five new captains have been elected at co-located brigades in District 7 to lead our volunteer members at the brigades.
These captaincy positions were reinstated following fire services reform on 1 July last year.
Previously, while operating as integrated CFA brigades with both career and volunteer firefighters, the position of captain did not form part of the volunteer rank structure.
As a result, the following CFA members have been elected as Captain:
- Adrian Flynn - Belmont Fire Brigade
- Jeremy Egan - Geelong City Fire Brigade
- Roger Buckle - Lara Fire Brigade
- Ben Lane - Corio Fire Brigade
- Andrew Cooper - Ocean Grove Fire Brigade
Each location is a co-located station, housing both CFA brigades and Fire Rescue Victoria career firefighters. CFA members work alongside FRV crews and surrounding CFA brigades. Our volunteer firefighters also often form strike teams at major incidents such as campaign bushfires.
With a background in the military and VICSES, Jeremy Egan joined CFA’s Bannockburn Fire Brigade in 2009 to become involved in the community.
When he moved to Geelong a few years later, he was pleasantly surprised there was a CFA brigade in the city.
“I had a good interaction with the brigade from day one,” he said. “Our relationship with the career firefighters was good before and it’s even better now.”
Jeremy said it has been an honour to take on the role of Captain at Geelong City Fire Brigade for the first time in more than 75 years, working alongside career FRV firefighters at the station.
“I wanted to steer the brigade the right way and thought I’d be able to bring a cool-headed, pragmatic and positive approach,” he says, but admits it’s been “a huge learning curve”.
“There’s been a lot of back and forth with the BASOs (Brigade Administrative Support Officer), the catchment team, and lots of other people. I’m really grateful for their support.”
Jeremy acknowledged there had been some uncertainty in the lead-up to last year’s reform, but said for his brigade, the changes had been a positive opportunity.
“We realised we had a better focus and a tanker that we now are fully responsible for getting out the door – it has actually improved the brigade as a volunteer response,” he said.
Jeremy said the brigade was now clearer in its role supporting both the co-located FRV firefighters at local incidents but also providing stronger support for the group of brigades it belongs to. It has also more actively contributed to strike teams over summer, something that its new Captain believes will become even more frequent going forward.
“Our members remain committed to Thursday night training and we’ve also undertaken other training opportunities across our district such as live-fire training props at Leopold and Stonehaven as well as taking part in fuel reduction burning across the Geelong area,” he said.
“Our members have also been obtaining further skills such as structure firefighting as well as learning to use breathing apparatus. We would like to extend a big thank you to brigades who have invited us to their training nights and we look forward to more joint training in the future.”
Following an influx of interest from the public about joining the CFA during and after the 2019/20 fire season, CFA’s Geelong City Fire Brigade, supported by the Volunteer Sustainability Team, utilised online surveys and virtual open nights to engage with potential members in a CovidSafe way. As a result, the brigade is currently training five recruits and plans to take on more members in the near future.
CFA’s Belmont Fire Brigade Captain Adrian Flynn, who joined CFA 32 years ago just as the brigade became integrated with career firefighters, has also drawn on a strong relationship with Fire Rescue Victoria firefighters at the co-located station.
“We have a great relationship with the career staff – it’s something we’ve worked very hard at and we’re maintaining that,” he said.
He was encouraged by both volunteer brigade members and career staff to put his hand up when the Captain was elected.
“I’ve been an Officer for 25 of my 32 years and always had a great relationship with the management team and an interest in the management of the brigade,” he said.
“The main focus this year has been keeping everyone interested and engaged and encouraging everyone to stay positive throughout what’s been a period of a lot of unknowns.”
- Belmont Fire Brigade Captain Adrian Flynn