Numurkah Leader, 28 February 2018: THE Numurkah CFA is recruiting, and not just for firefighters.
People are needed to support the brigade in a variety of ways, including running operations in the office and helping maintain the trucks, the fireys say, and anyone over 16 can get involved.
“We’re open to all ages, all sexes, all abilities,” brigade veteran Ian Hannaford told the Leader.
“Some people have got a couple of hours each day and other people have only got a couple of hours a month. We’re happy to take on any of them,” Ian said.
There are currently around 20 active members of the 134-year-old Numurkah Fire Brigade, who come from a range of trades and backgrounds.
The main reason people volunteer is to give back to the community, the fireys say, but there are personal rewards too, including the chance to have unique experiences and spend time with mates.
The brigade also offers training opportunities, both formal and informal.
Whether it is local knowledge that recruits need or accredited learning, like first aid, the brigade will look after them, Ian Hannaford said.
Volunteering can also provide a path to a career, as it did for Numurkah 2nd lieutenant Chris Bethel, who works full-time as a firefighter in Shepparton.
“I volunteer to help out but I used it as a base for recruitment as well. So there’s avenues for that,” Chris said.
Signing up also offers recruits the opportunity to perfect their pool game, with a full-sized billiard table on site.
The table came from the Tungamah pool rooms in the ‘50s or ‘60s firefighter Kevin Lucas says, and was sold to Numurkah CFA for a ridiculously low price by the owner, who wanted them to have it.
While it used to host an annual 10-week tournament, the table is mostly collecting dust these days, the men say, but gets unveiled occasionally for social events.
This year the brigade will receive the proceeds of Brereton’s Bakery Red Balloon Day donut sales in Numurkah, which will go towards funds an upgrade of furnishings at the station.
An open day in November and food stalls at the Show have helped them raise money to buy three portable lamps and a “combi tool” for enhanced forcible entry recently.
Members are now working on fundraising and securing grants for painting work, new carpets and better toilet facilities, as well as a new FCV (forward command vehicle), and say they welcome all donations.
Within hours of the Leader’s visit to the Numurkah station last week, its trucks were called out to a fire that destroyed a house in Pinnuck St.
The Numurkah brigade was first on the scene and immediately set about containing the fire, which had heated exposed areas of neighbouring properties to a dangerous degree.
Several more units were called in and worked together with the local crews to get the blaze under control.
If local firefighters hadn’t been available to respond so quickly, it might have been a different story for the street.