Pat on back for rural fire crew

IT MAY only be a small organisation that keeps the interests and safety of its community at heart, but the Gaeta Rural Fire Brigade has just recently been given a big pat on the back for the work it does.

The brigade received an encouragement award for its development and implementation of a communication, organisation and prevention strategy, after issues with its communication were identified.

Secretary Rebecca Cook said the strategy was the brigade's newsletter, which contained important information on fire seasons, safety tips and information for coming meetings and it was delivered to every landholder in Gaeta.

"That's how we keep people in our rural fire district informed," she said.

Mrs Cook and newsletter editor Jane Duff attended the 2011 Australian Safer Communities Awards in Brisbane, where they were presented with the certificate.

"It's monumental. It was very humbling," she said.

"It was hotly contested - there was 100 applications that went in."

Mrs Cook said the big win was a pat on the back for the volunteers, who look after the district of about 116 landholders.

"We're the only emergency service within that area," she said.

Queensland Fire and Rescue rural operations area director Tony Johnstone said brigade members deserved every bit of praise they got.

"They did a fantastic job last fire season and they definitely deserved the award," he said.

Mr Johnstone said nominations were done without the brigade's knowing, which added to the surprise and elation the Gaeta crew felt.

"It's really great to see their faces when they get something," he said.

He said there were numerous awards and certificates that could be given to crews to show appreciation for their work.

"Even recognition goes a long way," he said.



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