On Saturday 28 November past and present members of the Chittering Incident Support Brigade gathered to celebrate the group’s official fifteen-year anniversary and to award several of them life memberships.
Differing from a traditional volunteer firefighter role, the Incident Support Brigade provides vital support to crews when multiple brigades are called to attend an incident. Utilising their state-of-the-art incident control vehicle, ISB members provide support through administration, communications and logistics to ensure that incident management teams, volunteer firefighters and other emergency service members can operate effectively in times of pressure.
Members recognised with life membership were Paul Groves, Raylene Groves, John Williams, Bob Smilie and DJ Baum, who also accepted a posthumous life membership on behalf of her husband Don.
Shire of Chittering Deputy President Carmel Ross thanked the team for their efforts.
“We have our fair share of fires here and we need people such as yourselves who are prepared to set your daily lives aside for a while when an emergency arises. There’s no way that what is achieved could be achieved without all what you do in the area of the communications.
“The Shire, the council in particular is immensely grateful for the efforts that all of our volunteers put in.”
The Chittering ISB team currently has fifteen members and is eager to recruit more. When a large incident is unfolding it is optimal to have multiple crews of five volunteers on standby to be able to provide continual coverage over the course of the event, which can last days.
“You can’t expect everyone to turn up for every shift,” said ISB member Paul Groves. “We have turned out once to a fire with just two of us – fortunately not long after we set up it started to rain and the firefighters quickly got sick of fighting fires in the rain!” he laughs.
It is an ideal role for former volunteer firefighters, retirees and anyone with an interest in communications and technology. The team are clearly a committed and connected group of people and have an astounding depth of knowledge of their role and are just waiting to be share it! For more information about joining Chittering ISB please email Captain Peter Hall firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul is also keen to hear from anyone who can help him paint a more thorough picture of the brigade’s past.
He said, “I would like to try and compile a better history of the brigade, so if anyone has any names, details, stories or photos from the ISB’s past, please get in touch.”