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Volunteer firefighters needed

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The region needs more volunteer firefighters.

That’s the call from SA Volunteers Firefighters Museum (SAVFFM) chairman Alan Hall.

Mr Hall said the older generation of firefighters had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.

“The role of the volunteer firefighter has changed considerably over the past 10 years with the improvement of technology, equipment, and fire appliances that are available,” he said.

Mr Hall highlighted this as the SAVFFM held its ninth memorial service on April 13 to honour those who have given their lives protecting homes and lives from fires across the state.

About 90 people, including the Minister for Emergency Services, Joe Szakacs, attended the moving service at the Kingston Avenue, Naracoorte Memorial Site.

“Recognition was given to CFS and SA Forestry volunteer fallen fire fighters that have lost their lives in the line of duty.

“This annual service is important to allow family, friends, and colleagues to reflect on their loved ones and the service they have provided to the community in protecting life and assets,” Mr Hall said.

He said there are 24 volunteers currently on the memorial wall.

“The latest being the very unfortunate loss of Louise Hincks in 2022.

“Along with 16 CFS volunteers, there is a monument of remembrance for eight Forestry SA workers who lost their lives in the Wandilo forest fire on April 5, 1958.

“During the service, those gathered were informed of another firefighter whose death has been recognised because of volunteer firefighting activities, Ray Cutting from the Salisbury Brigade of the SA Country Fire Service.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to have a plaque completed in time for the service, however, it will be placed as soon as it becomes available.”

During the event, SAVFFM also honoured Russell Branson, AFSM, as the founding member of the current museum.

“Russell, along with the late Rex Hall, visited New Zealand in 2005 and came back from that visit, asking each other when SA was going to have this for the preservation of history.”

Mr Hall said plans were already underway for the tenth event in April 2025.

The Naracoorte News 24 April 2024

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.

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