It is now January 21st and the bushfire conditions have eased in the Cudgegong District.
I look up the Fires Near Me App and note the fire started at Windemere Dam is under control. As are all the fires that have worried us over the past few months.
I am prompted to check through my call out texts and Whatsapp chats. What I find is amazing.
I write as President of the Lawson RFS Brigade at Eurunderee. Until mid-December when a health problem put me on the inactive list I was an active firefighter. I therefore feel I can speak as an onlooker.
The object of this letter is to express my pride in the efforts of my Brigade but also to include all those in the Cudgegong District RFS.
My statistics, as an example, indicate that the Mudgee RFS Airbase, manned mostly by Lawson members, that services the water bombers has been active from the 13th September until 17th January. One member recorded 36 days straight.
Read more in opinion:
Over this period the other Brigade members have attended numerous fires and have had crew on the ground day and night at the major blazes at Gospers Mountain, Palmers Oakey, Kerrys Ridge, Meads Creek, Bylong, Nullo Mountain, Clandulla and various other lesser incidents.
The dedication of my members has been amazing. Within minutes of a call a crew would assemble and be ready for dispatch.
These are men and women who have other jobs and lives as miners, farmers, vineyard workers professionals, retired persons, and all walks of life - they are all active community members.
I am expressing this pride and admiration on behalf of all the other local Brigade Presidents who have seen their Captains, Deputies, and firefighters respond in the same way this RFS District has punched well above its weight.
I include all the support staff; Communications, Logistics, catering, maintenance and especially our permanent paid staff who have done such a mighty job. . When you receive texts and post from these people who some criticise as working only business hours and realise the same names are signing off every day for months you know they have put time in over and above.
I must also include the other volunteer Services; the SES, the VRA, the charity groups. And of course our fellow firefighters from Fire and Rescue NSW and National Parks.
I would like to personally thank all my Lawson RFS members especially and everyone mentioned above.
Let's hope for some relief but be assured I and they will be there as soon as the call comes again.
- Doug Grigg OAM, President Lawson RFS Eurunderee