June 23, 2016

Cooranbong Rural Fire Service (RFS) has been an important part of the community since the 1960s, says volunteer senior deputy captain Jacob Chambers.

Completely run by volunteers, the RFS is involved in everything from major bushfires and car accidents to the annual Santa lolly run. While it can sometimes be a tough time on the job, Jacob says the RFS members also have a lot of fun and enjoy working with their community.

“The thing I like best about the RFS is how friendly everyone is, we all have jobs or school outside of this but we all enjoy what we do,” he says.

“One of our biggest callouts is to car fires but we get everything from structure fires, car accidents, assisting the ambulance service and doing hazard reductions.

“We also work with the community, like going along to preschools to teach them about fire safety, doing the Christmas Santa lolly run on the trucks and blocking the roads for ANZAC day services.”

Jacob says he has been a volunteer for almost 10 years, since joining the RFS as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. He works as a full-time nurse in Newcastle, and encourages anyone who wants to give back to the community to think about signing up.

“You can choose how much time you can give, as volunteers are alerted when there is a callout, and are able to choose whether they attend or not,” he says.

“Some weeks volunteers don’t receive a single callout and at other times can be called out to three separate incidents.”

Jacob says the requirement to become a volunteer is to pass a police check, then to be a part of the callout crew you undertake a basic firefighting course.

To become a junior member the minimum age requirement is 12 and to join in the emergency callouts you must be over 16.

“Not every role requires fighting fires, there are currently around 25 active members of the Cooranbong RFS across all roles from administration to operational support and those who go out on the calls,” Jacob says.

To keep fire-safe this winter:

  • Don’t leave your stove unattended
  • Don’t overstock your fireplace
  • Don’t go to sleep with candles burning
  • Remember to check your smoke alarm batteries

To find out more about the RFS and volunteering call
0457 710 497 during business hours or email
Cooranbong.management@gmail.com

In an emergency, always call 000.

Live outside the box at Watagan Park

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