A drive at the new CFA VEMTC training facility in Central Highlands has been named after a valuable CFA couple, Dale and Joy Pitts.
The new state-of-the-art facility near Ballan was unveiled Tuesday, 23 November and features a driving course with 10 streets named in honour of illustrious CFA members.
CFA unveiled Pitts Drive, named after Dale and Joy, in recognition of their consistent and valued contribution to CFA, particularly their work providing driver training to CFA members.
During their paid and volunteer careers, the couple conducted more than 150 paid on-road and off-road driving courses for CFA, 47 driving courses as volunteer instructors and 800 licence tests on behalf of VicRoads for CFA members.
Joy and Dale both said they were grateful to be recognised for their work.
“This is an amazing honour for the both of us,” Joy said.
“When you reflect on the enormous amount of work so many people do across the CFA, it’s hard to believe that we would be recognised among such a hard-working bunch.”
Dale joined Wattle Glen Fire Brigade in 1975 and Joy followed five years later.
Joy was the first woman firefighter at the brigade – a title she said she will always be very proud of.
“I was trained in radio communications and after a few years of Dale contributing to the brigade, I thought I could apply my skills to help,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dale was the Captain of the brigade for 12 years and is the longest serving Captain in the brigade’s history.
The couple worked for an industry training services company, which provided services to CFA.
CFA used their services to train members in on-road and off-road driving.
“Dale was always very interested in driving safety and teaching others, so somehow we both ended up doing that,” Joy said.
“We were a bit of a team - he did the practical training and I did the theory and the paperwork.”
She said the training was always fun and it was a great way to meet other members.
Dale said they had the opportunity to run trainings right across the state, and were the first people to instruct at the off-road course at the Huntley training facility.
“I taught people to drive medium rigid and some heavy rigid vehicles,” he said.
“I would give them a certificate as an endorsement to take to VicRoads and get their licence.”
Dale was also a volunteer Practical Area for Drills (PAD) Operator at the Fiskville training site during this time at CFA.
Joy remained with Wattle Glen Fire Brigade until 1999, before moving to Whittlesea Diamond Valley Group where she was Secretary for 19 years. She is now Secretary of the District 14 HQ East Brigade.
Meanwhile, Dale remains with the Wattle Glen Fire Brigade in a non-operational role as a life member.