June 24 - 30, 2018: Issue 365

Pittwater's NSW RFS Water Brigades Benefit From RFSA Grant

L to R: Paddy Broughton, President West Pittwater RFB, RFSA President Ken Middleton and Peter Lalor, Captain of Scotland Island RFB.

Pittwater's NSW RFS Water Brigades benefit from RFSA Grant

Rural Fire Brigades, Support Brigades and Districts across NSW are being boosted by new equipment provided by the NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) Grant Scheme. The scheme provides items that are not covered by local Council or Government funding. 

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) four water brigades located north of Sydney, including the West Pittwater, Mackerel Beach, Coasters Retreat and Scotland Island brigades, were successful in their request for items to assist with firefighting and search activities.

There was a presentation of the grant items on Saturday, 23 June 2018 at McCarrs Creek Reserve, Church Point.  RFSA President Ken Middleton officially handed over the grant items to the Northern Beaches Water Brigades on the day.

NSW RFS West Pittwater Brigade Captain Andrew Cutler, said the two thermal imaging cameras will be invaluable to the brigades when fighting fires or assisting other agencies in search activities.

“The cameras will be included in the equipment on the two boats the brigades use when attending structural and bush fires or assisting in searches,” Mr Cutler said.

These boats and their equipment are essential to the brigades as most of the buildings and areas the brigades cover are only accessible by water.

The thermal imaging cameras enable the crews to quickly identify where the major heat areas of a fire are located, and provides much more accurate information to better assign resources and identify potential risks to crews.

“Without the support of the RFSA the brigades would not have been able to access this important equipment due to the significant expense involved.

“We’d recommend other brigades apply for the grants as the application process was straight forward and the RFSA was very helpful. 

“The process also further enhanced the already existing communication and cooperation between our brigades as we came together as a group and planned our needs and what additional resources we required,” Mr Cutler said.

RFSA President Ken Middleton said the NSW RFSA Grant Scheme was a highly valued support service offered by the Association and enhanced brigades ability to operate. 

“The Grant Scheme offers a means of financial assistance to ensure the men and woman of the NSW Rural Fire Service have access to items and equipment that make performing their duties just that little bit easier,” Mr Middleton said.

“These are volunteer members who give up their time to help their community during a time of greatest need and it is wonderful that we can support them while they are supporting us. 

“Many of these brigades would not be able to fund raise to gain this equipment because of their remote location so the NSW RFSA Grant Scheme provides a means of assistance to gain items they otherwise may have to go without.” 

Alongside the NSW RFSA Grant Scheme, the RFSA offers a wide range of other support initiatives to help members in their work protecting the community. This includes the sponsorship of training and learning events; the provision of scholarships for relevant educational courses to enhance member’s knowledge and skills and Volunteers’ Family Days that provide a gesture of thanks to members and an introduction to chaplaincy and support services. 

Mr Middleton thanked the community for their assistance in making the NSW RFSA Grant Scheme and other support services possible. 

“The people of NSW need to be thanked for purchasing tickets in the NSW RFSA raffles, with monies raised going towards the Grants scheme as well as other support services focused on the Rural Fire Service volunteers throughout NSW.”

"The cameras will improve the operational capability for boat fires, structure fires and search. They will also improve member safety." Captain Peter Lalor of Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade explained.

Mr. Lalor also thanked Andrew Cutler, Captain of West Pittwater RFB, who submitted the grant. 

Also at the ceremony were Inspector George Sheppard, Northern Beaches RFS and Group Captain Scott Crosweller, Northern Beaches RFS, along with the Captains of the Coasters Retreat and Mackeral Beach RFB's.

Members will be trained through the West Pittwater RFB in the use of the cameras.

About the NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) 

The NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) is the recognised representative organisation of the volunteers and staff of the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW Rural Fires Act 1997). Established in 1996, the RFSA is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation. For more information: www.rfsa.org.au 

One President and three Captains of the Scotland Island, Coasters Retreat and Mackeral Beach RFB's with RFSA President Ken Middleton and the youngest Member of SIRFB!
Offshore Volunteer RFB Members along with Allan Brett RFSA Northern Beaches, who organised an idyllic presentation ceremony at McCarr's Creek Reserve yesterday.