Cherrabah operations manager Fran Edney (cropped), Monica Maher, Wildash Rural Fire Brigade first officer Paul Maher and secretary/treasurer Eileen Scott get together to celebrate the Wildash Rural Fire Brigade’s ongoing service at Cherrabah.
Cherrabah operations manager Fran Edney (cropped), Monica Maher, Wildash Rural Fire Brigade first officer Paul Maher and secretary/treasurer Eileen Scott get together to celebrate the Wildash Rural Fire Brigade’s ongoing service at Cherrabah. Deanna Millard

Wildash brigade dedicated to protecting their region

TAKING pride in extinguishing fires the Wildash Rural Fire Brigade were rewarded for their ongoing commitment and service to the community at a complimentary festive evening hosted by Cherrabah on Saturday night.

Boasting 55 members, the Wildash crew have responded to a total of 48 fires during the year, covering a 267sq km radius, attending outbreaks ranging from small grass fires to a major bush fires.

What started out more than 60 years ago as a few farmers banding together to stop their paddocks from burning has grown into an official fire-fighting brigade equipped to handle and assist in fighting rural fires throughout the district.

First officer in charge Paul Maher said for most of the team, fighting fires runs in the blood and was a necessary skill for rural property owners that have been taught by previous generations.

"The equipment has come a long way since I was a child and can remember fighting fires on horseback with my dad," he said.

"Thanks to the fundraising and support of our members and the local community we now have a suitable vehicle and equipment to assist us in successfully extinguishing and controlling burns in our area."

Mr Maher said dedicated members attend training every second Tuesday to familiarise themselves with techniques and equipment and when the pressure is on the brigade has a number of dependable fire-fighters ready to jump into action.

"When it comes to smoke and fire the unit works well together, supporting each other and making safety a priority," he said.

"It's all about using common sense and having each other's back while working efficiently to get the fire under control."

Management and staff of Cherrabah have never been so grateful to the local rural fire brigades, as when bush fires threatened the resort in early November.

Cherrabah operations manager Fran Edney said the fires came far too close for comfort and is so appreciative to the local rural fire brigades for their ongoing commitment to control the burns.

"It was a very scary time, but we felt reassured by having these professionals working hard to control the fire," she said.

"Tonight's Christmas celebration was our way of saying thank you to the Wildash rural fire fighters and their families for dedicating their time and experience to assist in keeping our properties safe from the devastating effect of fires."

A small crowd gathered for the festivities, with $600 raised through raffles and auctions which will greatly assist in the operating costs of the fire station.

 

 

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