Great Southern Brigade finally finds shelter
Dedicated community members, personal equipment to protect the brave volunteers and firefighting trucks to help get the job done.
The make-up of volunteer bushfire brigades is similar across regional WA.
But for one Great Southern brigade, an important ingredient had been missing for 56 years. That was until late last month, when the Jacup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade celebrated the opening of its new shed.
“It’s somewhere to call home,” Capt. Trevor Ross said.
For more than half a century, the brigade had gone about its business in a slightly unconventional way.
“We’ve been operating by storing fire trucks in farmers’ sheds,” Mr Ross said.
“When it comes to meetings, they’re usually at the captain’s place.” The shed was made possible by a combined community effort and a $290,000 injection through the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ emergency service levy, funded by WA landowners.
“The land was donated by a private landholder, the Shire did the earthworks, a shed builder from Plantagenet ... built the shed, and the rest came from ESL funding,” Mr Ross said. “It’s a relatively cheap shed because we don’t have any of the fancy tools ... we just want somewhere to store the truck and to meet and go from there.”
Unlike many regional brigades that are struggling for volunteers, Jacup is at capacity, acting as somewhat of a hub for the community, which registered a population of 68 in the 2016 Census.
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