Coopernook Rural Fire Brigade welcome new members and facilities

Passion for firefighting: Coopernook Rural Fire Brigade captain Joanne Collins and secretary/treasurer Sherrie Gaul. Photo: Rob Douglas.
Passion for firefighting: Coopernook Rural Fire Brigade captain Joanne Collins and secretary/treasurer Sherrie Gaul. Photo: Rob Douglas.

Its certainly been a busy few months for the Coopernook Rural Fire Brigade, with the addition of new members and the completion of renovations to the station. 

The brigade recently ran a campaign which called for new members to join the team.

In response, five people decided to join the ranks.

The brigade’s secretary, treasurer and permit officer Sherrie Gaul said the members are already showing promise.

"We were struggling for members,” Sherrie said. 

"They're pretty keen and have already shown really good talent for it,” she said.

Once the new firies are deemed ready, they will undertake additional training.

Meanwhile, the station is now home to a new kitchen and bathroom.

"When we got here, we had a pipe coming out of the floor with a bucket and a tap,” Sherrie said.

"We had mice everywhere so it was pretty gross.”

The brigade secured the work for a good price and was funded through a State government grant.

Crew members completed jobs such as sanding, tiling and painting to finish the project.

"We got it cheap because us members had to do the inner works,” Sherrie said.

"Everything has been hard work but its paid off in the end because we've got what we've got now.”

Local government funding was used to renovate the bathroom. 

The facilities were officially opened by Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams last month. 

The brigade is now seeking new equipment such as wet weather gear and radios.

“It’s a safety concern,” Sherrie said.

An electric hose winder would also be a welcomed addition.

"When you've got 30 metres pulled out of the live reel, it's not very easy to pull back in,” Sherrie said. 

New facilities: Scott Lattin, senior deputy Robert Collins, Sherrie Gaul, captain Joanne Collins, area group officer Arthur Southwell, Silas Darnell and Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams at the official opening of the kitchen and bathroom. Photo: Rob Douglas.

New facilities: Scott Lattin, senior deputy Robert Collins, Sherrie Gaul, captain Joanne Collins, area group officer Arthur Southwell, Silas Darnell and Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams at the official opening of the kitchen and bathroom. Photo: Rob Douglas.

Sherrie is proud that the brigade boasts a strong female membership 

"We can do anything that men can do, we just look better doing it," she laughed. 

She encouraged any person to give firefighting a try. 

"There's a role for anybody if you want to be on the front line or you want to come in and help with administration stuff or just be a support member for when that brigade needs to raise funds,” she said.

"Try and see if you like it, there is no commitment, it’s volunteer.”