Bostocks Creek Fire Brigade's newest members
Five new members who have recently completed their General Firefighter training will bring new perspectives to their brigade and bolster its ranks during the fire season.
The group from Bostocks Creek Fire Brigade completed their training in November and are now ready to turn out to incidents.
Rhikki Lee Coverdale, Wayne Van den Meiracker, Morgan Nelson, Caroline Duynhoven and Peter Kerr are the five new recruits for the brigade.
Rhikki Lee Coverdale said that wanting to give back was a huge motivator for her in joining the brigade.
“My husband has been part of CFA since he was 17, and he was really encouraging when I wanted to join,” she said.
“It’s the community-minded sort of thing: I really wanted to get out there and give back to my community.”
Caroline Duynhoven shared the same drive of wanting to give back to the community.
“I’ve been involved in community activities before, but this is something different I could do,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to working as a team, gaining new skills and experiences but mostly just giving back to the community.”
The five new recruits worked as a group throughout their training, holding study sessions and encouraging one another.
Rhikki Lee said that being able to join as a group made a huge difference.
“We bounced off of each other really well. We were able to reflect on how each of us were doing along the journey and we learned so much from each other throughout the whole process,” Rhikki Lee said.
Being able to support each other throughout the GFF process was invaluable for Caroline.
“As a team, we complemented each other, supported each other and encouraged each other,” Caroline said.
“We had a lot of fun and a few laughs. We’re all very diverse but coming together was really lovely.”
For Peter Kerr, it was the team’s support that helped him when things started to get tough.
“There was good camaraderie. We all had a bit of fun and kept each other going. Because you had the support of the other new members you wanted to keep going not only for yourself, but for them as well,” he said.
This resonated with Morgan Nelson, who said as well as the new recruits looking out for each other, the wider brigade have welcomed them with open arms.
“The five recruits have all got along so well and the brigade has been so welcoming. It’ll just be great to give back to the community as a group,” she said.
“Working together, as a team, as this fantastic group that we have – that’s going to be the best thing.”
Wayne van den Meiracker said that it was important for him to volunteer to demonstrate community values to his kids.
“We have three children who are getting to an age where we want to show them the importance of looking out for your community,” he said.
“We want to show them it’s good to give back, and we want to be good role models for them so that they can see the benefits of helping others. Being part of such a small rural community it’s important that everyone has each other’s backs and helps out wherever we can.”
At the time of writing, Peter and Wayne are the only two of the new recruits who have attended a callout. Both said it was great to put their new-found skills into practice.
“I attended a grass and scrub fire last week. It was fantastic to put the skills I’d gained into use and be able to use the skills I’d learnt throughout the course of my training,” Peter said.
Wayne agreed, saying it was fantastic to reaffirm that his training had prepared him well.
“I continued to learn more at the incident itself and know that I will only learn more with every future incident I attend,” Wayne said.
As for the other new members, they’re looking forward to attending their first callout.
Rhikki Lee said she was excited to attend her first incident and felt confident that her training had prepared her to take on the challenge.
“It will be great to put the training and theory into practice and be able to help someone out,” she said.
Caroline agreed, saying she’s looking forward to working collaboratively.
“I haven’t been to an incident yet, but I’m looking forward to putting that training into action.”
Morgan echoed Wayne’s thoughts, saying that ‘on-the-job’ learning will only continue to improve their skills.
“I’m excited but nervous for my first turnout. I feel as though my training has definitely prepared me, but I’ll continue to keep learning with each incident I attend”
Rob van den Eynde, 3rd Lieutenant, secretary and treasurer at Bostocks Creek said encouraging new operational members was a positive step for the brigade.
“We’re going into the fire season fully prepared and with good numbers, which will really help us to share the load among all of our crews,” Rob said.
“It’s also great to encourage younger operational members and have a fresh outlook from those who have just completed their training.”
General Firefighter is the foundation training for operational members, ensuring they develop the essential knowledge and skills required to safely and effectively participate in their first turnout.
For more information on the program visit Members Online.
||CFA News & Media