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West Pittwater Rural Fire Brigade


28th. December 2009

Rightyo! A very long time between updates, so a lot to get into.

Firstly the boat plans have developed, albeit slowly. Patience is a virtue, but we don’t have any. We’re obviously keen to get hold of it. Plans have been finalized and the sheet aluminum has been cut. It’s now with the builder. If all goes well, we should get it at the end of February (just in time for my birthday). Here are some images of the final plans.

In other exciting news, one of our longest term members—Margaret Molloy—received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM), on the Queens Birthday Honours List. Margaret has given so much of her time to the community, not only the Brigade, but many other incredible things. Well done Margaret. Here’s a picture of Margaret receiving her OAM from the Governor of New South Wales, the Honourable Marie Bashir

Two West Pittwater members—Graham Earl and Michael Adler—went out of area, on the Section 44, up at Grafton, on Ingleside 1B, with a composite crew from Beacon Hill, HQ and West Pittwater (with Warwick, our OIC, from Dural). While the high profile fires up there were largely controlled, we did some mopping up, but then got involved with another fire that started in a remote area. All good experience, on a large scale operation, not forgetting to mention that being helicoptered in and out was an experience. A couple of pictures below:

We have had two members  - Andrew Cutler and Glenn Andrews—recently go through the CABA course, so we now have two CABA operators. We aren’t Village 1 capable yet, simply because we do not have any CABA equipment at either station, but we have the request for it on the way, so hopefully it won’t be too long. Sounds like a fascinating, but physically tough course. We have yours truly—Graham Earl—scheduled for the same course in February, so I’ll have to exercise that Christmas Pudding off!

Also on the training front, we had Andrew Cutler do his Crew Leader (it’s been a busy year for Andrew) and he’s been put through an accelerated promotion to Deputy Captain, due to a lack of field officers being available over Christmas and into January, which could be our busiest period. Congratulations, Andrew.

On that front, while we should always be vigilant and January, into February, always has the potential to be our riskiest time of year, it’s currently pouring down outside and the danger is pretty low (I think the meters are set to Low / Moderate actually). While the rain isn’t popular, over the holiday season, it sure helps lessen the risk of bushfire. It wouldn’t take long to change, though. A week of 40 degree weather, with some strong westerly winds and we’re back to the top end of the scale again, so be careful out there!

Finally, we’ve had a few Fireshed Dinners, since the last website update, but the highlight is probably the Christmas Dinner. Big attendance and everyone has a great time. Fantastic catering by Kath Anderson (thanks, Kath) and Santa made his usual appearance on Elvina 7 (those sirens were loud) and gave some small gifts out to the kids. Highlight of the night was the looks on the faces of some of the little ones—priceless!

Anyway that will do for now. I’ll try not to leave it this long, next time.