A hot fire training Gas Pad has been dedicated to the late Mick Daws to honour his service to CFA both as a volunteer and staff member.
Mick Daws sadly passed away in December 2021 at the age of 50 after battling an illness for many years.
The Gas Pad at the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC) at Wangaratta was named Mick Daws at an official ceremony in early 2022.
VEMTC Wangaratta Campus Pad Supervisor Richie Gardner worked closely with Mick for many years and was also a close friend.
“Mick and I grew up in CFA together. We both joined CFA as part of the Moyhu Group of brigades in the 80s in our teens – Mick was at Edi Fire Brigade and I was at Milawa Fire Brigade,” Richie said.
“As time went on, our lives continued to cross paths, we had similar backgrounds and hobbies, and we both ended up joining South Wangaratta Fire Brigade in the early 2000s.”
In 1998, Richie was appointed the training ground Manager at the VEMTC Wangaratta Campus and in 1999, Mick was employed as a Pad Operator, also known as a ‘Paddy’.
“Mick was an integral part of building the Wangaratta Campus to what it is today. He helped guide it, direct it and maintain it over the years, and proudly it’s now the longest standing training ground at CFA with a 40-year history,” Richie said.
“Mick helped wherever he could whether it was with brigades or the broader community. That was his passion – he was a people person.”
Mick continued his journey as a full-time staff member with CFA. He supported brigades in his role as a Brigade Administrative Support Officer (BASO) and he was also the driving force and founding member of the Volunteer Sustainability Team (VST) in the North East Region.
Over the years, Mick worked closely with the Wangaratta Campus team and helped coordinate training. He was a strong advocate for women and youth. A big part of Mick’s passion was creating women-only training days, to give them the opportunity to build their skills together in a safe and welcoming environment.
As part of this, a Woman’s Networking Group was created which helps facilitate women’s training days and other activities.
Last weekend, 28 women took part in a hot fire training day at the Wangaratta Campus on the Mick Daws Gas Pad.
“These types of training days are special to us in many ways but in particular it’s great to see Mick’s legacy living on,” Richie said.
- Richie Gardner (left) and Mick Daws (right) with their 30 year service medals