Kirstin Nicholson, The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper
Spirits are high around the Cohuna CFA headquarters after a successful weekend at the CFA Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria State Firefighter Championships in Mooroopna.
It has been around 20 years since the Cohuna Fire Brigade has had a team to enter, and despite little training due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team took out placings in three events then went on to win the State Urban Championship ‘B’ Section Appliance Aggregate trophy.
“We were very overwhelmed,” said Brigade Captain, Matthew Trigg, “When we realised we had won there were a lot of smiles.”
The Cohuna team consisted of Matthew Trigg, Stuart Barker, Shannon Treacy, Ashton Dye, Shayne Conlan, Nicholas Greer and Adrian Stone, with each event consisting of teams of four to seven members. Seasoned firefighter, Rob Waterson, was team coach.
The team took out first place in the ‘B’ Section Pumper and Ladder, second place in the ‘B’ Section Hydrant and Tanker, and third place in the ‘B’ Section Hose Hydrant and Pumper categories. An aggregate system was in place for all events which saw them successful in winning the aggregate trophy with 32 points.
“Everyone has their own role and responsibility. The three events are all different technicalities where you’ve all got to gel together and work as a team, but there’s also a bit of speed put in. Between first and third place sometimes there’s not even one second,” explained Matthew.
Matthew cannot speak highly enough of the team and it is clear he is impressed with their effort and achievement. “The crew works really well together. We haven’t had much training, and it shows you their dedication. When we get down there, we make every minute count.”
“For some, they haven’t participated in many sporting events in their life, and for some, it’s probably their first sporting achievement, so that’s awesome. I saw the smile on a couple of the guys’ faces and I could tell they were absolutely rapt. The whole weekend was great, and it was good for our team camaraderie. It only helps us on the fireground when we get home, and boy, if we get to a housefire and they can’t put a hydrant in quick now, we’re in trouble,” Matthew says.
The brigade intends to continue its training in the hope of fielding a side next year and each member is aware they will need to be training regularly and attend smaller competitions to ensure they have a strong chance, but in true CFA style, they are up for the challenge.
Of the team from long ago, Matthew says they were very well respected and a strong team, achieving some great accolades. “We were all proud to see the Cohuna name up there again,” he concluded.
The Cohuna Fire Brigade is a strong, supportive group of members, dedicated to helping their community. Road rescue is a part of the brigade’s duties, something they have taken on with enthusiasm since the 1990s. “We’ve got a strong member base,” said Matthew, “you can make lifetime friends out of it and learn so much, but also everyday things that stick with you for life and help you to grow. With the CFA there’s no judgement – when you walk in our door, every member is considered an equal. You’re all treated the same.”
For anyone interested in joining the Cohuna Fire Brigade, contact District 20 CFA Headquarters in Kerang, or inquire on the CFA website.
This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 1 April 2021.