Continuous fire protection by Ferntree Gully CFA 1942 – 2022

Ferntree Gully Fire Brigade was formed in difficult times in 1942, after the terrible 1939 bushfires which devastated the State of Victoria, and during the 2nd World War when the Japanese were bombing Darwin, Broome and later sending mini submarines into Sydney Harbour.

Today in 2022, Ferntree Gully Fire Brigade is a strong and very well equipped 100% volunteer organisation, serving our community 24 hours a day for 52 weeks of the year.

The brigade is responsible for the prevention and suppression of all types of fires including structures (buildings), motor vehicles, grass and scrub as well as being the primary authority to deal with hazardous material (HAZMAT) incidents and fires as well as explosions. The brigade also assists Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police, and our community with requests for assistance from the general public.

The brigade takes community safety very seriously. Home fire safety is paramount as is bushfire preparation and awareness. We have over 600 homes mainly east of Forest Road in our Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO). We conduct community bushfire meetings designed to encourage the community to prepare bushfire survival plans which involve the entire family.

Fire safe Kids sessions are provided for schools and preschools, scouts, cubs and guides. Adults are catered for in that we are always happy to speak with clubs such as Rotary, Probus and the Mountain District Learning Centre.

Ferntree Gully CFA has four very modern fire vehicles including a pumper, 4WD tanker, ‘support’ having a large capacity pump, as well as a 4WD ‘slip on’ which can travel along narrow paths such as bike paths and deliver water.

Training mainly occurs on Sundays, and Tuesday evenings as well as many other times. It is strenuous and very interesting work. A real commitment is required from members. One never stops learning new skills and information. Hoses continually have to be washed and tested after a call, breathing apparatus sets refilled and tested, and the vehicles re-stowed and washed. Helping others when in their time of need when they call 000 is our reward.

We are planning to hold our Open Day at our station between 10am and 2pm on Saturday 26 November which also happens to be election day. Please come and say hello at 5 The Avenue, Ferntree Gully.

Too many house fires

The number of house fires attended by our brigade and other CFA District 13 brigades in recent times is very concerning.

During the week of writing this, two house fires have occurred in Ferntree Gully, with two in Mooroolbark, one in Lilydale and one in Wonga Park. In almost all cases the fires were preventable. Amongst the known causes were children playing with matches or lighters, candles left burning, and stove top fires.

We recently welcomed a local cubs group to our fire station. Parents also attended. We concentrated on teaching ‘Get down low and go, go, go’ as well as ‘Stop, drop and roll’. The children were taught how to contact 000 to request Fire Brigade, Ambulance or Police.

Can we stress just how important it is to teach fire safety at home? The entire family should have drilled a fire evacuation plan and have working smoke alarms in every bedroom and living area of the house.

The days of having one smoke alarm in the hallway have well and truly gone. If you are renting a property, contact your landlord or agent and discuss the smoke alarm situation with them. For more information, visit the website.

Graham Crichton, CFA

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