Coffs Coast Rural Fire Service Legends on New Videos to Help Save Homes

Glenn Locke, Senior Deputy Captain at Nana Glen Rural Fire Brigade appears in the new resources focusing on preparation.

 

ON the drive out to the Orara Valley on Coramba Road a simple sign was erected last year that states “Thank You RFS Legends”.

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The sign stands there still as homage to the efforts by the volunteer Rural Fire Service (RFS) in fighting fires.

These RFS legends from brigades in Nana Glen, Bonville, Repton and Bellingen are now featured in videos to encourage the community to be prepared for bushfires.

Senior Deputy Captain at Nana Glen brigade, Glenn Locke, spoke with News Of The Area.

“The videos will be a great resource for the community.

“We have a limited number of fire trucks in the valley and hundreds of houses.

“If we have another big fire event, there wasn’t, and there won’t be enough fire trucks to go to every house,” he said.
“So the key to saving your home is preparation.”

Mr Locke said the local brigades are always looking for volunteers and that it not only looks great on a CV but is wonderful for confidence, teamwork and leadership skills.

“The RFS is a great option to get a lot of training for free: first aid, chainsaw qualification and your truck license is all for nothing so there are some great opportunities there for young people,” he said.

Last summer’s bushfires destroyed 2,476 homes across New South Wales and has highlighted the importance of having a bush fire plan and being prepared.

The Bush Fire Danger Period has begun for the Mid North Coast and the Rural Fire Service stress the importance of taking five minutes to talk with your family, complete a bushfire survival plan and take steps to get ready for bushfire.

Coffs Harbour City Council’s Community Recovery Officer Melinda Brooks said: “Many residents who were impacted by last year’s Liberation Trail fire expressed concerns about their lack of understanding about how to prepare their home for a bushfire and what a bushfire plan was.”

In partnership with Bellingen Shire Council, Resilience NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service, two ‘Get Ready for Bush Fire’ videos have been made featuring RFS volunteers from the Coffs Harbour and Bellingen local government areas.

NSW RFS Superintendent Sean McArdle said all local residents need to be prepared as getting ready for bush fire is as important as ever.

“Although we have had some welcome rain and the drought is not as widespread coming into this season, there is potential for grass fires in particular, and we all need to be well prepared,” he said.

“NSW RFS members have been busy preparing by undertaking hazard reduction burns where possible, maintaining firefighting equipment and undergoing additional training.

“The Get Ready films are about residents doing their bit to protect their families and properties in the event of a fire.”

Alison Pattinson, Bellingen Shire Council’s Manager, Community Wellbeing, said that the RFS Mid North Coast Team includes both Coffs and Bellingen volunteers and a consistent Get Ready message is important for local preparedness.

“By using local RFS volunteers we really hope that the community will watch the videos and be better prepared this bushfire season.”

 

By Sandra MOON

 

Sean McArdle (RFS), Melinda Brooks Council’s Community Recovery Officer, Glenn Locke from the Nana Glen Brigade, Tim Jeffery from the Bonville Brigade and Rachael Eggins (RFS).

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