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Meet Maldon’s newest firefighters

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In response to Black Saturday, the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission introduced new training requirements for firefighters. Locals Amanda Fedorowicz, Steven Coady and Beatrice Hercott Atkinson know all about the current training regime. They are Maldon’s newest firefighters.

Amanda joined the CFA to give back to the community, get fit, and be part of a supportive group. She found the course challenging and confronting. “It was confronting learning about how fire works and the way fire behaves, and just how vulnerable we are.”

Steven had been considering joining the CFA for 10 years. About four months ago he ‘went for it’ because he wanted to get qualified before summer started. “Reading the weather and reading the fuels and reading wind changes and understanding how smoke works and understanding what a fire is doing and understanding…”

Beatrice joined CFA because her dad encouraged her and she wanted to be prepared for fire emergencies. She found using a fire extinguisher to be a valuable skill. “A lot of the skills aren’t just relevant to the CFA. The first time I used a fire extinguisher was through the CFA, I’d never had the opportunity to properly use one before. I can now take those skills into general life, too.”

CFA Maldon brigade Captain Sean McCubbin welcomed and congratulated the Maldon community’s latest firefighters. “Anyone who’s interested in joining can head to the brigade’s Facebook page, but the best thing to do is to come down and talk to us… Sunday mornings are best… all welcome, all walks of life.”

To encourage new members, Amanda also said, “When you join the CFA, you don’t have to fight fires – CFA provides training for all sorts of skills. The sense of camaraderie and social connection you experience as part of the firefighting community cannot be overestimated. We live in a fire-sensitive environment. In my opinion, we have an obligation to try and keep ourselves safe and care for others. This includes preparing a fire safety plan, making sure our homes are adequately prepared before the fire season and giving assistance to the vulnerable.” 

Tarrangower Times 15 December 2023

This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 15 December 2023.

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