The CFA is a vitally important element of any community, and Eaglehawk is no different.
Three ESC students went along to the Eaglehawk CFA Fire Brigade to interview two volunteer firefighters. Kylie Davis and Eric Smith agreed to share their valuable time to explain how they strive to keep the community safe.
Kylie Davis has been the Captain of the CFA in Eaglehawk for the past four months. Before her Captaincy, Kylie worked as a First Lieutenant, which looks after the operations of the CFA.
She has been in the CFA for over 15 years and decided to start
volunteering after the events of the Bendigo Tornado in 2003.
Kylie also works as a paid employee at the Huntly Training Ground, which is a training area used by firefighters to practice and improve their skills.
Eric Smith, ex-Captain of the brigade, has been working with the CFA for over 50 years. He was Captain during the Black Saturday Bushfires and has seen a lot of changes over the years.
One such change was the inclusion of women in the fire brigade. Eric explained that ‘firefighting has always been a men only sort of thing, but in more recent years, girls have joined the juniors and become firefighters.’
The new slogan for this year is “summer is coming”, and the main message is being prepared around the property.
Tips to keep you and your family safe:
Keep lawns neatly trimmed under 10cm.
Keep piles of wood or flammable objects well away from buildings.
Don’t burn your green waste in the backyard – councils offer disposal of green waste for free.
Trim tree branches so they don’t hang over your property.
Trim any branches that touch the ground.
Keep lawns free of rubbish and gutters clean.
Various measures have been taken to prevent fires from spreading.
The Council mow lawns on vacant blocks of land and inspect blocks in the local area.
Keeping your lawns nice and trim is extremely helpful towards fire prevention.
‘In general terms, the trick is to keep the fuel as minimal as you can and keep the grass cut.’
Having knowledge of warnings and advice is very important.
A must-have is the Emergency Vic app, which you can download on your phone. The use of a radio is also important – on Black Saturday, the phone network failed, so a radio is a necessity.
A ‘Neighbourhood Safer Place’ also known as a ‘Bushfire Place of Last Resort’ (NSP-BPLR) is a place of last resort when all other bushfire plans have failed. In Eaglehawk this is Canterbury Park Sports Precinct, the
car parks and Event space.