The frontline Rural Fire Service brigades at Nerrigundah, Belowra and Tinpot received an important funding boost thanks to the Narooma Uniting Church Drop-in Centre.
The centre donated $1000 to each of the three brigades and the captains of those brigades gathered last week to accept the donations and say “thank-you”.
Group Officer South, Mick Anderson said it all started when drop-in centre members met him to discuss donating money and he suggested they help the more remote brigades within the Eurobodalla Shire.
“These are the my tip-of-the-spear crew, who find it incredibly difficult to fundraise,” Mr Anderson said. “They may not receive as many calls as brigades on the coast, but in terms of the risks, things can escalate very quickly in their areas.”
For example, it is these brigades that have to respond very quickly to lighting strikes in remote and rugged bushland, he said.
Mr Anderson took members of the Uniting Church Drop-in Centre for a tour of these area and he said they were “blown away” with how remoted the rugged these areas were.
He and the brigades were very grateful for the donations and Mr Anderson said without community support such as this, much less equipment would be purchased and “the wheels would turn a lot slower”.
Planning meanwhile was underway for a new state-of-the-art fire station at Belowra, with a few issues yet to be resolved.
Mr Anderson said the new station would also be the staging area for any major incidents in the Belowra area with space for tent cities and helicopter landing areas.
“It will be a major, major resource out there and also an important community asset as these stations are like the community hall and meeting places and we encourage that,” he said.
Regarding the general bushfire risk for the region over summer, he said it was not a time to get complacent even with the recent rainfall.
“Just because we have had a lot of rain, we are not out of the woods and it won’t take long for things to dry out with a few hot days and we have the potential for a very active bushfire season,” he said.
All the brigades on the Far South Coast were always recruiting new members and there were jobs for residents of all capabilities, fitness levels and ages, he said, suggesting anyone interested in joining the RFS just stop by their local brigade for a chat.