NSW Fire Brigades

Fire fighter recognised for over sixty years of service

Awarded for sixty years of firefighting: Paul Smith (Regional Manager of Region West RFS), Deputy Mayor Lachlan Shire Kim Jones, Brian Terry, Doug Ridley and Ken Neville (Manager Mid Lachlan Valley Team RFS). Photo: Karen Tooth.

NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Region West Manager Paul Smith has congratulated Brian Terry on providing over 60 years dedicated service to the Avondale Rural Fire Brigade.

Mr Smith said that Brian’s contribution to the Service was exceptional and deserving of recognition.

“Brian has served with distinction and commitment to the Avondale and wider Lachlan Community

“He is a shining example of our dedicated Rural Fire Service volunteers who give to their communities, without the want for awards or accolades.”

Mr Smith presented Brian with his Long Service Award at Condobolin Fire Control Centre on Wednesday evening at the RFS headquarters in Marsden St Condobolin.

“Brian signed up with the Avondale Brigade near Condobolin in 1949, and his commitment to the Brigade has been exceptional.

“Not only has he been an active member of the Brigade for more than 60 of those years, he served as the Brigade’s Captain for 54 consecutive years.

“This level of service is invaluable and worthy of recognition, Mr Smith said.

“This is a small way that both the NSW RFS and the community can express our sincere thanks and gratitude for Brian’s contribution.

“This is about celebrating Brian’s inspirational contribution and acknowledging his loyalty to the Avondale Rural Fire Brigade and the community,”

Brian is really pleased to get the award.

He said, “I thought it was great. The Rural Fire Service is a great organisation to be a part of and very essential in the bush.”

Brian highlighted the great camaraderie among members at both meetings and call outs to fires.

He recalled the worst fire he had to attend was in 1957. Starting at West Milby the fire went for 80 km and was 25 kms wide and reached Fairholme.

“It took three weeks to extinguish as there was so much fuel on the ground and it [the fire] went through so fast it went up again. It was pretty devasting. Hundreds of people were involved.”

RFS cadets recognised at high school ceremony

Condobolin High School RFS cadets with their mentors. DG

By Dominic Geiger

Nine Condobolin High School students have been recognised for their completion of a Rural Fire Service (RFS) cadetship training course at a special ceremony held at the high school last Monday.

During the ceremony, the cadets demonstrated their recently acquired skills in a mock car accident and grass fire training exercise.

Learning Development Officer with the RFS, Warwick Parker, said the most important thing the cadets had learned throughout their training was teamwork.

“They found the teamwork side of things a bit difficult when they first started, though once they got the hang of that. they’ve been doing great,” he said.

“They’ve also been learning skills using the hoses, how to fight fires, truck skills and some basic first aid.

“It’s a good thing for the school and a great way to promote the RFS to the community and that’s how the cadets program is supposed to work.”

RFS Cadet, Mitchell Deeves, said he was surprised how much he’d learnt over the course of the training program.

“It was great, we learnt so much,” he said.

“The other thing is, that none of us were friends before we started the program but we get along really well with each other now.”

The Mayor of the Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, presented the cadets with their certificates.

“This is a great program, it’s volunteering at its best,” Des said.

“The RFS is having trouble getting volunteers, so I hope these young people will continue to be a part of and support this fantastic organisation.”

Accidents and incidents

Man charged with break and enter in Condobolin

By Dominic Geiger

Police have charged a 21 year old male with four counts of break and enter in Condobolin over the weekend.
The alleged offender was apprehended on Saturday morning at approximately seven am after smashing a number of windows on the southern side of Bathurst Street.
A spokesperson from Condobolin police said alcohol was being considered a factor in the incident.
“A small amount of property was also stolen,” the spokesperson said.
“That property has since been recovered.”
The alleged offender will appear before the Condobolin Local Court on Tuesday July 5.
The police spokesperson said the offender had been apprehended thanks to a witness report.
“Because of the good work of a community member who alerted police and provided a good description of the alleged offender, police were able to make an arrest.”

Car Accident

Police were called to the scene of a car accident approximately seven kilometres from Condobolin on the Gum Bend Road last Saturday at 3am.
A spokesperson for Parkes police said it appeared the car had rolled after leaving the road and was found on its roof.
“No one was found inside the vehicle upon police attendance,” the spokesperson said.
“Police are now making inquiries in to who the possible driver and owner of the vehicle could be.
“Any members of the public with information about the incident are encouraged to call Condobolin police.”

Car Fire

Condobolin police, fire brigade and an ambulance were called to a vehicle fire in the car park behind the Imperial Hotel on the corner of Bathurst and McDonnell Streets last Saturday night.
A police spokesperson said at the time of police arrival, the red Ford Falcon was well alight and was eventually completely destroyed in the blaze.
“It appears the owner started the vehicle and a short time later the fire started for an unknown reason,” the spokesperson said.
“The owner of the vehicle escaped uninjured.
“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the blaze.”

Inferno ravages Hay Street house

Firefighters from both Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service fought to stop the blaze spreading to neighbouring houses.

By Dominic Geiger

A raging fire has   gutted a house in Hay Street, Condobolin.
Fire crews, police and an ambulance were called to the scene last Wednesday afternoon following a phone call to 000.
The fire, which began at 1:35pm, started in the laundry of the house and quickly spread throughout the property.
A spokesperson for Condobolin Police Station said fortunately no one had been injured in the blaze.
“A person was in a shed out the back and went to go back into the house (when) they saw flames and smoke coming from the laundry area,” the spokesperson said.
“The person alerted the occupant inside the house and they all got out unharmed.
“At this stage the cause of the fire is not known.
“The fire is not being treated as suspicious.”
A spokesperson from Fire and Rescue NSW said fire crews were on the scene within nine minutes from when the fire was first reported, though by that stage the house was well alight.
“There were two crews from Fire and Rescue NSW and two crews from the Rural Fire Service in attendance,” the spokesperson said.
“There were fears the fire would spread to adjoining properties but by 2:30pm the fire had been contained.
“The building was an old weatherboard house and was severely damaged in the blaze.”
The occupants of the building lost nearly all their belongings.
Fire and Rescue NSW, the Rural Fire Service and the NSW Police Service wish to remind people to regularly check batteries and the fitting of smoke alarms in their house.

New RFS station tanker for Ootha

The Ootha Rural Fire Brigade celebrate the opening of their new Rural Fire Station.

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

The Ootha Rural Fire Service recently conducted a ceremony to announce the opening of a brand new Rural Fire Brigade station and the acquisition of a new category one tanker.
The new two-bay station replaces the former one-bay station the brigade had been using in the town.
Team Manager at the Forbes Office Mid Lachlan Valley Team, Ken Neville, said the upgrade meant the Ootha Brigade now had state of the art equipment held in a station that would preserve the machinery well in to the future.
“The tanker is able to respond to any type of incident, including motor vehicle, grass, bush and structural fires,” he said.
Ken said although Ootha is located on the north west edge of the Forbes Shire, the brigade is active with responses to emergencies in their local area.
“The Ootha brigade is able to respond to emergencies in both the Lachlan and Forbes areas and both brigades have worked together in the past.”
Funding for the station was obtained through the Rural Fire Fighting Fund with local companies and trades people undertaking the majority of the construction.

Winter fire safety

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Mid Lachlan valley Team is urging people living and visiting Forbes, Lachlan, Parkes and Weddin shires to be vigilant about winter fire safety.
“Winter is traditionally the most dangerous time of year for home fires and it’s important that visitors and holiday makers, as well as residents, remain vigilant to the risk of fire,” said Superintendent Ken Neville, team manager.
“People need to be aware of the risks associated with using heating and other electrical appliances during the colder months.
“Households should regularly check heating appliances for faults, turn off electric blankets when not in use and use ember guards on wood-fired heaters and dispose of the hot ash properly.
“It is also vital that people take simple fire safety steps such as ensuring they have working smoke alarms and evacuation plans.”
“The emergency services may need to travel a considerable distance in remote areas, so it is vital that people in rural and isolated locations are conscious of the need to take fire safety precautions.
“Whether you’re at home or on holidays staying in a motel, bed and breakfast, guesthouse or cottage, you should know how to escape in the event of a fire and where to go once you’re out,” he said.
“In the event of a fire, you should get out, call Triple Zero (000) and wait for the emergency services to arrive.”
“Families should discuss this plan with their children so everyone knows what to do. If you are in an isolated location, it is even more important that you can escape the fire quickly and stay safe until the emergency services arrive,” said Superintendent Neville.

Volunteers vanquish raging fire

Aerial photograph of the fire north west of Fifield that spread from grasses on the property to a nearby forest.  Photo contributedBy Dominic Geiger

A fire covering almost 600 hectares of land and lasting two days tore through Merndale, a property thirty kilometers north-west of Fifield, over the weekend.
At the peak of the blaze seventy volunteer fire fighters from local and surrounding brigades were required to stop the flames spreading further.
Four fixed wing bomber aircraft and two helicopters were also used in the operation, due to the fire spreading to inaccessible terrain.
Stacy Jarvis, owner of Merndale, said the fire was ironic because workers on the property were in the process of creating fire breaks for controlled burning when the first flames appeared.
“They were slashing prior to ploughing when it started,” she said.
“We’re still unsure about why it started but most likely it was a machinery fault or a spark caused by the slasher hitting a rock.”
Though the fire was quite significant, the efforts of the volunteers ensured that damage was kept to a minimum with only a few fence posts on the property being lost to the blaze.
Stacy said considering the lack of damage the fire was a good training run for the volunteers.
“The support from everyone was wonderful; the only damage was to grass and scrub,” she said.
Ken Neville, Team Manager for the Mid Lachlan Valley Rural Fire Service Team, said he wanted to thank both the volunteer fire fighters and the Lachlan Shire Council for helping to bring the fire under control.
“The brigade was on the scene very quickly,” he said.
“The Lachlan Shire Council was also helpful as it provided graders and bulk water tanks.”

NSW Rural Fire Service Cadet Program

NSW Rural Fire Service Cadet ProgramFirefighting skills, teamwork and leadership were high on the list of things being learnt by an enthusiastic group of Condobolin High School students enrolled in the Rural Fire Service Cadet program.
Students learnt how to fight differing types of fires such as gas, car and tree fires as well as learning about the fire truck and all its equipment.
Coordinated by CHS teachers Simon Murphy and supervised by Amy Fitton, the program was run during term III’s sport periods on Wednesday afternoons. Seven students finally graduated with the awarding of certificates, hats and dog tags.
The good feedback from the program has promoted the running of a similar one this term being run by the SES.

Recognition of dedicated service

Michael Malouf was farewelled from the Condobolin Fire BrigadeOn Saturday 19 June Condobolin Fire Brigade members and partners joined to farewell Michael Taylor at the Condobolin Motor Inn.
Michael is retiring after almost 28 years of service to Condobolin and district. He joined the Brigade in 1982 under the captaincy of Wally Evans and after Wally’s retirement served under Captain Keith Willis for a number of years. Keith and Shirley travelled from the south coast to attend the function.
After a delicious meal, Captain Michael Malouf presented Michael with various gifts, including a photo frame in which replicas of his medals were mounted. Before presenting Michael with these gifts, Captain Malouf spoke of his sadness at losing such an experienced and dedicated member whose special expertise with auto fires and mechanical incidents was invaluable.
It was also highlighted that during Michael’s time in the Brigade he had been the recipient of the National  Medal for 15 year of service and NSW Fire Brigade Good Conduct & Service Medal.
He was also a member of the Condobolin Demo team competing at State demonstrations and integral to the success of those held in Condobolin.
In reply Michael made a heartfelt thank you to all the past and present members of the brigade thanking them for their support and friendship and reminded the newer members that you get out of the brigade what you put into it.
A presentation was also made to Marguerite in recognition of her support to Michael (pictured above) and the brigade for many years.
The formalities concluded with the presentation of a NSW Fire Brigade’s Good Conduct and Service Medal for 10 years service to Christopher Nagle.
– Contributed

Retirement after 28 years of service

Condobolin's NSW Fire Brigade has farewelled Michael TaylorCondobolin’s NSW Fire Brigade farewelled long serving member of 28 years, Michael Taylor with a dinner at the Condobolin Motor Inn. Back: Russell Keen, Anton Jacobson, Shaun Turner, Daniel Lark, Chris White, Jasmine Malouf, Matt White, Chris Nagle, Nathan Dodgson, Steve Brasnett, & John Small; front: Greg Nagle, Michael Taylor & Michael Malouf.   Photo by Kathy Parnaby.

Fire in Bathurst Street

The Condobolin Fire Brigade and Police were called to a ceiling fire at 92 Bathurst Street, Condobolin at 7.22 Sunday morning. It took the brigade ½ hour to extinguish the blaze which may have been started in a pile of rubbish by persons unknown. Not much damage was done to the unsecured building as it has been previously burnt out.
Over the past two weeks there have been 2 reported break ins: one at Condobolin High School – Police are currently questioning some young people in relation to the matter. The other occurred over last weekend at the CO2 Aust. Ltd office – SOCO are investigating.

Condo kids get lesson in fire safety

By Sally Willoughby
Condobolin Fire Brigade had some excited kids running around their station last Saturday when they hosted their annual open day at the culmination of Fire Prevention Week.Condobolin Fire Station Open Day
Visitors were privy to fire safety demonstrations, a tour around the station and given the chance to inspect fire fighting equipment used by local fire fighters when responding to fires and other emergencies.
Retained Fire Fighter John Small said the day was primarily about informing kids on the practical components of fire safety.
“The open day is focused on teaching kids about the importance of fire safety and making them aware of what the fire brigade does in town and how they can become more aware of fire safety in their own home.
“We let them know about the importance of smoke alarms, having an escape route and an overall fire plan for their house,” he said.
House fires are particularly prevalent over the cooler months with the increased use of electrical items such as heaters and electric blankets that create a high fire risk.
Given the opportunity to promote the local fire station, John said being a part of the service was an ideal way to support the local community.
“This is a great way to be an important part of the community and if anyone wishes to join the fire service, just give us a call,” John said.
The Condobolin Fire Brigade can be contacted on 6895 2723. The fire emergency number is ‘000’.

Condobolin Fire Station to throw open its doors

The NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) and Condobolin Fire Station will hold its annual Open Day on Saturday 8th May 2010 where fire stations across the state will open their doors and give visitors a personal glimpse into Australia’s largest fire and rescue service.
Open Day marks the culmination of Fire Prevention Week where the NSWFB will call on residents to assess their fire safety arrangements and prepare for the most dangerous time of year for house fires.
As part of Fire Prevention Week, fire stations across NSW will be arranging a number of events for their local communities and high risk groups, such as the elderly, to remind them of simple steps they can take to prevent house fires this winter.
Among the attractions for this year’s Open Day include fire safety demonstrations, fire station tours and the chance to inspect firefighting equipment used by our firefighters when responding to fires and other emergencies.
Visitors can also speak to firefighters first hand about ways to install and maintain smoke alarms and how to develop a home escape plan to ensure they can quickly and safely escape a fire.
For more information on the Open Day event in your community, contact Condobolin Fire Station to find out what activities they have in store for the day.

• Where: At the Condobolin Fire Station, Marsden Street, Condobolin
• When: Saturday 8th May 2010
• Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm

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