Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue focus on winter safety

A team of future recruits wields the fire hose.

SAFETY at home, and some practice for potential future recruits, were on show at the Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Tea Gardens 471 Open Day on Saturday 11 May.

“Our main concentration is on smoke alarms and winter safety,” Captain Jim Wisemantel told NOTA.

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“FRNSW can check your home for free, tell you if your chimney needs a clean, or if the heater is too close to flammable materials, and even install new smoke alarms for you – just call and leave your details with the local FRNSW station.”

A relatively new type of photoelectric smoke alarm is now the standard, with many handed out on the day.

The prevalence of Lithium-ion batteries is another paramount concern for the fire service, mainly because of the abundance of cheap imports and people using incorrect chargers, or leaving things plugged in on beds and other soft surfaces that retain heat.

The massive trucks were out at the station, including the eighteen-tonne 4WD tanker, fully loaded and displaying the array of equipment that the local town firies are all trained to use in case of emergencies in house fires, rescue and even flood assistance.

The ongoing rainy weather did not dissuade visitors young and old, and the kids loved exploring the big red trucks and wielding the mains-pressured fire hoses, blasting witches’ hats into oblivion.

Visitors shared stories of near-misses and fire events, how smoke alarms have saved theirs and family’s lives, and one young girl even brought in some butterscotch cake to show appreciation for the town’s firies.

Duty Commander for Regional North 1 district, Derek Alford, was there to have a look at one of the region’s best units, Tea Gardens 471.

“We are very proud of TG 471’s efforts, they are doing a good job, they are committed and community-oriented,” Derek said.

Further information on the smoke alarm and home check program, which are free for homeowners, can be found by contacting the local station in Tea Gardens, right next to the pool and library, or visiting FRNSW’s website.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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