Rural Fire Service Queensland's Darling Downs acting area director John Welke and Leyburn RFS Acting First Officer Steven Hargreaves.
Rural Fire Service Queensland's Darling Downs acting area director John Welke and Leyburn RFS Acting First Officer Steven Hargreaves. Beck Lawson

New Leyburn fire chief named after volunteers walked out

AFTER two months without a functioning fire service, Leyburn has elected a new leader for its brigade with a full executive expected to follow soon.

Steven Hargreaves has stepped up to lead the Leyburn Rural Fire Service.

The town has been without a fire service since February after its leadership resigned citing safety concerns while responding to a fire at Elbow Valley.

The service called a meeting of the remaining 44 members a month ago to elect a new executive, though only one volunteer turned up, so no decision could be made.

Rural Fire Service Queensland's Darling Downs acting area director John Welke held a second meeting on Wednesday night to recruit new volunteers.

Ten locals signed up in the past two days with Steven Hargreaves elected interim First Officer.

Mr Welke said it was a good result that allowed the unit to restart.

"Steven will run the operations for the next six weeks,” he said.

"That is enough time to process all the membership applications and call another meeting and elect the remaining executive.”

It is expected Mr Wilke will be re-elected to the permanent role.

"He was really keen to take it on for himself as a personal and professional milestone but he is also very community minded,” Mr Wilke said.

"It's my feeling he will be the first officer for years to come.”

Without a leadership team the unit has been unable to run training sessions or fight fires.



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