Photo: Cpt Andrew Cooper & Board Member Beth Davidson –Beth presenting 75th Anniversary Certificate to Brigade
Celebrations kicked off this week for the 75th anniversary of the Ocean Grove Fire Brigade.
Past and current members of the Ocean Grove Fire Brigade gathered on Saturday, 15 July to celebrate the brigade’s 75th anniversary and to present significant service awards and national medals.
CFA Board Member Beth Davidson attended and helped present six CFA Service Awards, including one 45-year life member medal, and two National Emergency Medals.
Captain Andrew Cooper said there were generations of firefighters in the room to celebrate the brigade’s history.
“It was great to come together with everyone to mark the milestone,” he said.
“It was a worthwhile event, with many stories shared around the room.”
Andrew said the brigade has embraced and grown through change over the course of its 75-year history.
The inaugural meeting of the Ocean Grove Fire Brigade was held on 16 November 1946, which was attended by 29 interested residents at the time. Volunteers at the time registered their interest and the brigade was officially registered on 19 December 1946.
The next year, the brigade purchased a block of land in Hodgson Street and in 1950 an old Army Hut was relocated and repurposed into the fire station.
The brigade upgraded its facility in 1977, with a new $110,000 modern brick station built at the site. Eventually the brigade would outgrow the Hodgson Street site and move to its current site at Shell Road, that was officially opened in 2011.
In 2012, the Ocean Grove Fire Brigade became a CFA integrated station with career firefighters working alongside volunteer firefighters.
“This was a major change for the brigade and we worked hand-in-hand with the CFA catchment team and District to ensure a smooth transition,” he said.
“It was a great success and we have worked very closely with career firefighters ever since.
“Whenever we respond out the door, we do so with the same purpose, to protect lives and property.”
The brigade currently has 33 members, including 21 operational firefighters and 12 support members.
“The event was heart-warming – our brigade has such a rich history and we have members from a range of backgrounds,” Andrew said.
“It’s important to reflect on where our brigade has come from and the people that have shaped it into what it is today.
“Many people don’t realise the volume of work necessary to create the strong and trusted asset the brigade is to the community today."
- Photo: F/F Doug Pearce and F/F Morrie Barry – Cut the anniversary cake. Doug & Morrie are the longest serving current Ocean Grove Fire Brigade members.
- Photo: Beth Davidson Presenting National Medal with 1st Clasp to F/F Jason Barry
- Photo: ACFO Brendan Lawson presenting 25yr service medal to Brigade Member Anne Geerings.