Time out to thank fireys
AS RAIN provides much needed relief for the region it was the perfect time for fireys to take a moment for themselves after a tough fire season.
From Woodgate out to Bungadoo and up to Yandaran, Rural Fire Brigades across the region were thanked by Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and Member for Bundaberg David Batt on Thank You Fireys day.
Firefighters Dave and Billie Morton moved from Canada and joined the Bungadoo Rural Fire Brigade.
As for why they joined Mrs Moreton said it was a first hand experience with the service.
“Like everybody else, my husband started a little fire in the backyard and we figured we better help with our community,” Mrs Morton said.
“We were amazed by how fast and responsive the rural firies were. We don’t have one in Canada.”
Mr Morton said he was really drawn to how they worked together.
“They are like a family and we thought ‘that’s the place for us’, especially being here without a family. This is our family.”
Mrs Morton said the brigade had improved during their time.
“When I started, Bungadoo was almost a failed brigade. There wasn’t much happening, but in the last eight years we have really built it up,” she said.
“Now it is one of the busiest brigades in the area.
“We don’t do it for medals but sometimes it would be nice to be recognised.”
Also in attendance was Mon Galvin, a crew leader at Ilkley, Perry River and Calavos rural fire brigades.
Ms Galvin said she was happy to catch up with some of the firefighting crew after having a busier fire season than most.
After local fires had died down Ms Galvin, who is also a YMCA disability worker, took some time off in January to give her time to Blaze Aid.
Only one day into her volunteering stint in NSW she was sent along with some of her Ilkley crew to Southern NSW.
After returning to Blaze Aid for a short while Ms Galvin was once again deployed, this time to Canberra.
“It was devastating seeing burnt animals,” she said.
“50 per cent of Canberra’s national park was burnt out when we got there, 80 per cent was burnt three days later.”
Looking back on the season she said it had been busy.
“There was so much laughing, so much hard work and so much learning,” she said.
”I came home exhausted and went straight back to work, I am used to big drives.”