Mildura Weekly : Friday September 19 Vol 8 No 46
20 RIVERLAND MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 THE third annual bonfire night to raise money for Bar- mera Country Fire Service will be held at Discovery Holiday Park Lake Bonney on Satur- day, September 27. Park manager Sharon Bot- trell said the bonfire fund-rais- er is open to members of the public as well as park guests, and she encouraged people to attend and support the cause. In all $8000 has been raised for the local CFS from the past two bonfires, and she is hop- ing for a few thousand more this year. “We hold two bonfires a year and the big one is for the CFS, with a smaller one for Relay for Life,” Sharon said. “Mostly money is raised from the barbecue and bar. Also the people who have stalls make a donation. It is open to the general public as well as peo- ple who have been staying in the park.” There will be a glow stick stall and one children’s cloth- ing on sale, with a jewellery stall subject to stock following the Riverland Field Days. The Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum’s vintage Chevy fire truck will be offer- ing rides; children can have fun on the jumping castle for a gold coin donation or pay to have their face painted. Sharon said those activi- ties, together with Smokey the Bear making an appearance would “keep the kids happy.” There will also be a sausage and burger sizzle offering food, demonstrations of how to tackle a kitchen fire and other fire-fighting skills. Children can take part in Knock ’Em down fire hose games. Everyone can enjoy seeing the bonfire lit; the display of fire crackers by Barmera CFS members and toasting marshmallows over a fire tin. There will be an outdoor cinema, with the newly-re- leased Angelina Jolie movie Maleficent the planned film. There are still sites available at the park for both camping and stalls on bonfire night - contact Sharon by phoning 8588 2234. Barmera CFS captain Mark Dowling said the unit had about 30 members but there is always room for more, including as CFS cadets. “We are getting a cadet program up and running again,” Mark said. “We have got two lads who have been here a bit but it is best if they train separately to us so they get the basic knowledge.” Not all CFS roles are for firefighters. Mark said they need radio operators and peo- ple who are able to come in after a major incident and re- stow appliances and get them ready to go out again. “When we come back from a major incident crews are generally worn out but we have to be ready for the next incident, which could be in five minutes,” Mark said. Such volunteers are called CFS auxiliary members, and as with full CFS members and cadets there is no cost. “The only cost to a person is time,” he said. “There is no out of pocket expense. Police checks are also paid for. “If people decide to go further and need to get a medical clearance then that is picked up by the State....there is no cost to do breathing ap- paratus training either,” he said. “Members can also do their first aid courses free. We also put people through first aid training so we can look after ourselves.” Barmera CFS regular training night is every Mon- day from 7pm to 10pm, and alternate Sundays at 9.30am, however, Mark said they re- alised not everybody could at- tend all trainings or incidents, but said there was also a great social aspect to being in the brigade. “It (training) is not only for keeping skills up to date,” he said. “It is also really good for the social side so you can understand your work mates. We have got to have an under- standing of a person’s capa- bilities.” Potential recruits can at- tend the station during train- ing times or contact Mark – phone 0428 882 905. Mark said his only regret in around years involvement with the CFS was that he hadn’t joined up sooner. The Barmera brigade attended 93 callouts in 2013/2014 – including 15 scrub and grass fires, nine vehicle accidents with in- juries, six building fires, six suspected fire detector mal- functions, five grass or stubble fire and five investigations of smoke. There were also nine occasions when the unit was called out but received an all clear to return to base before reaching the incident site. In total its members put in 897 hours for the financial year covering Barmera, Love- day, Cobdogla and Overland Corner regions, as well as as- sisting at fires in other loca- tions. When Discovery Holiday Park Lake Bonney manager Sharon Bottrell decided to hold a bonfire a couple of years back she thought it might as well raise money for a worthwhile cause. In two years the event has raised $8000, and the fun night is coming up again soon – on September 27 – raising valuable funds and highlighting the role of Barmera Country Fire Service members in their local community. Ready to fire up for lake fund-raiser • FUND-RAISER: Barmera CFS captain Mark Dowling checks over Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum’s vintage Chevy fire truck before offering rides at the bonfire night. It’s not too late for your business to profit from solar! With the Government predicted to cut or further reduce solar rebates for your business, now is the time to look seriously at solar before it’s too late. Immediately reduce your energy bill and make a financially sound investment in the future of your business. Competitive finance options for lease, chattel mortgage and rent to own. 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Friday September 12 Vol 8 No 45
Friday September 26 Vol 8 No 47