Wherrol Flat Rural Fire Service needs some extra equipment not covered by government funding and its members have a couple of initiatives to raise the funds.
Both fundraisers will be held on Get Ready Day on Sunday, September 23 when the fire station is opened to the public and the community is encouraged to attend, check out the fire truck and equipment, and meet the volunteers who respond to fires in the Wherrol Flat and Caparra area, and anywhere else when needed.
Along with the many activities at the fire shed, such as a colouring in competition, which will be distributed in letterboxes and to the students who catch the school bus each day, the brigade is launching ‘Feet on Fire’, the inaugural walking fundraiser.
‘Feet on Fire’ is a community fun walk which brigade members hope will physically and mentally create a link between community homes/properties and the fire shed.
Residents are being asked to get their family and friends to sponsor them per kilometre of the walk with all funds going to the Wherrol Flat RFS. A few have already committed to walk nearly 12 kilometres to the fire station, including some of the RFS volunteers who will be walking in their full RFS uniforms.
The funds raised will help the brigade purchase an extra water tank at the fire shed which will limit the need to pump water up from the creek and allow them to respond to fires quicker; field radios for use when fighting fires to assist in forwarding fire information and improve safety; and WiFi to the fire shed to improve communications.
“We really want the local families to feel a connection with the Wherrol Flat RFS and, of course, we are always looking for more volunteers. Many of the current volunteers have been there for over 20 years, which shows their commitment to the RFS,” brigade captain Nick Hilverda said.
The importance of local RFS volunteers was recently highlighted with a fire that was started in the Caparra area which quickly got out of hand. Volunteers worked into the early morning hours over more than a week to protect properties and fortunately no homes or farm assets were damaged thanks to the tireless efforts of the volunteers.
However, four of the Wherrol Flat RFS volunteers were injured when smoke from the fire blocked their vision while driving up a very steep driveway. The fire truck rolled about 40 metres down an embankment. This highlights the danger that these volunteers selflessly place themselves in to protect their communities.