by Neville Crocombe
The support of the Mountain community is essential for Tamborine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade volunteers to be able to perform their potentially dangerous work. Evidence of this support was manifested on Wednesday night December 13th, when two members of the Brigade were guests of Tamborine Mountain Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc at their end of year function. The Mountain can certainly be proud of this livewire Chamber of Commerce which is keen to promote and protect the interests of the Mountain while attracting visitors who will spend money in our local businesses. In recent years, the Chamber has grown from around thirty members to a hundred and thirty-eight. Many larger communities would be envious of this virile team.
Two representatives of the Brigade were invited to take pot luck by bringing their red FIRE buckets to rattle at the door as members and guests of the Chamber arrived at Bungunyah, and then to join in the fine finger food feast. Several donations did not rattle at all, as before joining the festivities, a count revealed generous cheques of $200 from the Chamber, and $100 from a member, plus notes and coins from guests and members of another $173. The Brigade is most appreciative of this $473.
These funds will offset some of the cost of replacing UHF radios for communication on the fire ground. Quite often the fire fighter at the end of the hose cannot be seen by the one operating the pump at the fire engine, thus hand signals for “more water”, “more hose” or “water-off” cannot be used. UHF radios are carried for this purpose. Probably of even more importance is that fire fighters work on the “buddy system” of each looking out for the safety and welfare of his/her mate.They must keep in regular contact. With radios in A1 condition, in the event of a dramatic increase in danger level, one can call the other to evacuate.
Rural Fire Brigades provide full training to nationally recognised Fire Management Certificate level courses. All new recruits, fire fighters and Support members, receive a brief induction to give them background knowledge and an understanding of where we fit in the overall Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. As both John Howard and Kevin Rudd have recently acknowledged, without such volunteers, where would Australia be?
Tamborine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade is not a mob of macho men. We have several young ladies in the active fire fighting ranks. Age is no barrier. The minimum by law is sixteen but our oldest is about eighty-six. Despite our impressive collective array of medical conditions, each serves to the best of his or her ability. If you would like to join an enthusiastic Rural Fire Brigade, write to our secretary Anne at PO Box 160 North Tamborine 4272, or call Tony on 0407 747 999.