A November to Remember!

Well, what a busy month. 

Firstly, we did so many Hazard Reduction burns that I've lost count!  Some were done on private land for residents, some were done in concert with other brigades, and some we went to when the Shire asked for extra helpers to do burns on Shire land.  The work rate and dedication of our members to turn out time after time for these burns has been absolutely amazing.  Many thanks to you all!

Here is Mirline with the new hose from the Light Tanker.

mirline

Here is a great night scene taken by Gogs.

night

Here are the aliens invading (actually it is Michelle, Jenny and Tina walking up the road back to the 1.4 at a HRB!) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Rf64TB6nw

Here are some cracking good smoky sunset shots that Michelle got of Drew and Mirline.

smokyDrew

mirlinesmoky

In training news, we had five members complete the Structural Course at the Mundaring Fire School.  Andy, Elton, Andrew, Craig and Jenny found it a fascinating course and well worth the time and effort.

Here's Craig tackling the Fire Extinguisher under MFS Instructor Ricky's watchful eye.

  craig

Husband and wife team, Jen and Craig, tackle the way to open the door into a possibly burning structure, with Andy at the door and MFS Instructor Phil looking on. 

structural

We also had a fun morning doing a map and GPS navigation exercise that saw the two teams in appliances heading out to find the 'prizes' that Captain John had hidden for us earlier, using only Eastings and Northings.  Here is Jenny, our driver of the morning, checking the GPS.

Jen

And here are our very focused map readers, Rob, Mirline and Elton, in the back seat.  Don't be misled by their serious faces, there was lots of cheering when we found the prizes!

map

We have also turned out to some fires as well, but luckily so far nothing too dramatic.  Here is the 1.4 team this morning getting ready to head out for a fire that turned out to be fairly quickly vanquished, thank goodness.

team

Just to show how versatile we are, this month we turned our hands to food preparation as well, and fed a multitude of people at an auction.  

paul

It was a punishingly hot day, so special mention must go to those troopers who put in long hours at the BBQs; Colin, Pierre, Captain John, Nick and I'm not sure who else because I went home (piker!) but anyway you were all wonderful and so was everyone else who came along to help.  Not content with being a great Treasurer for the Brigade,  Jen Gardiner did an amazing job of organising and managing the huge day.  We love you, Jen!  Here are some of the happy "Fireys Cafe" team.

bbq

We have a new member, a very very welcome one.  Nick has been a Firey up North and is fully qualified already.  He has fit into the Brigade in no time at all, and has already been to some HRBs, a fire call-out, and even wielded the tongs at our auction fundraiser.  That's him on the left side there.  He's obviously a person who can handle heat of all kinds even a BBQ on a sweltering day.

bbq2 Welcome, Nick!

We also had a lovely social event or two, including a lunchtime BBQ after Schedules that saw members of the on-roster Mundaring VFRS team come to join us.  Thanks for your great company, guys.   See you on the fireground!VFRS

Our other Nick, Keith, Angus and Captain John all took turns being available to write many permits to burn for residents in the last two months. It is a routine job that must be very hard on the patience but they do it Saturday after Saturday.   Good on you, guys!     

The temperatures of the last few days have put paid to any chance of further permit burns this year, and the Prohibited Burning Period begins on the 1st of December anyway, so please save your garden waste till next winter, or even better, take it to the tip for free so it can be turned into mulch.  Summer is well and truly here, even though it isn't official until Thursday. 

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas, and remember to put your cigarettes out only in an ashtray, and to keep your eyes peeled for people acting suspiciously.  We would all love a fire-free December and holiday period, especially all the many thousands of dedicated Emergency Services Volunteers and Workers who would prefer to be at home with their loved ones.

It is impossible to get everyone together at the same time, so here are just some of the many wonderful people who will make up the Sawyers Valley Brigade team heading into this year's Fire Season.  We appreciate you all, every one of you, both those in the photo and out of it! team 

Many thanks to Michelle, Gogs, Tina, and Andrew for the great photos and to everyone who sent in photos this month.  I had so many I had to pick only some, and tried to choose ones that showed as many different people as possible. Don't forget, if you want to see a photo in the news, send it to me!  

 

 

 

 

Auction Next Saturday

On Saturday the 26th of November, our Brigade will be catering for this Sale being held by one of our members. 

There is all sorts of interesting gear going under the hammer, as you can see from the flyer below.

auction

http://sawyersvalley.bfb.asn.au/notices

Come along and have a look and maybe a bid, and while you are there, buy some tasty food or cold drinks from our cheerful Brigade members.

Please don't try to buy before the day, because nothing will be sold before the auction apart from perhaps that lovely old Cadillac! 

 

A Busy October.

It has been a very busy month for our Brigade, and there are so many fantastic photos that it is hard to know which ones to use!

We'll start by showing this photo, which was actually taken last month but only became available more recently.  It is the members of the Brigade who went along to support Angus for his award nomination. Don't we look smart? 

Group pic

We have done many Hazard Reduction burns this month. Some by day...

grasstree

day

And some of our burns have been done starting in the afternoon and going into the night, which can make for some spectacular scenery.

twilightHRB

colours

back fire

gogs pic

atmospheric

Four of our new members finished their basic training this month. Andrew H, Michelle,  Phil and Rob have all been out to burns too, and are already proving themselves to be useful team-mates.  Well done guys and gal!

This is our youngest Andrew of five. Not sure what he is doing here, perhaps demonstrating a disco move?  :)

Andrew H

Phil and Rob

That's Phil and Rob showing good style on the hose at training. 

Saturday Schedules have been well attended, apart from a couple of weekends where we have had quite a posse of Sawyers members at the Mundaring Fireschool for Basic or Structural training. Here we are revisiting the art of Drafting with Training Officer, Andrew

schedules

This month we had a lovely breakfast barbecue, but sadly, we didn't get any photos, because we were too busy enjoying the tasty food and chatting.  Many thanks to the members who supplied and cooked and baked our brekky.  We also welcomed this year's ten (!) new team members for the coming fire season, with a choccie frog and a nice new bandanna to wear on the fireground.  It is only a fun token of our esteem, but we do appreciate you all very much! 

Sister Fireys, Jen and Tina, had their other sister, PJ, visit from Qld and were snapped having a bit of fun showing her how not to test a hose.   PJ had a lovely time visiting the station and maybe she'll join a brigade in her own home town now that she's seen what it is all about. 

PJ

Someone else likes to visit the station with his mum, too.  Little Blake is rather keen on the old Austin, which has had its new fuel tank fitted and is one step closer to getting back on the road. Santa Run here we come! 

Blake

Blakey's mum, Michelle, did a fantastic job of organising a Swapmeet to fundraise for the Brigade this month.  It turned out to be a bit of a stormy day, but they still raised a little under $700, so well done to everyone who came along to help.  Michelle has also been a total trooper about turning out to HRBs and is always a cheerful presence in our Brigade, whatever we are up to.  Go Michelle!

Michelle 

We have also had our new automatic hose reel fitted to the Light Tanker, which was very exciting, after an amazing effort by our friendly Fundraising Team.  So many people and organisations helped us to raise the money, and we will thank them soon, but special thanks go here to Allan from Mt Helena Brigade, who got us the reel for a fantastic price and fitted it for nothing, with the kind help of Paul, also from Mt Helena Brigade.  We are so grateful for your kind help!

Andy is seen here modelling our new hose reel.  Andy loves a new bit of technology so he is even more excited than the rest of us!

hose reel

We'll end our news this month with this pair of great photos of Jen and Andy, showing how enjoyable this job can be, even when it is also being hard and dirty.  The joy of being part of a team that is focused on good work shines in these smiles.   We are all very lucky to have such fantastic people to work beside.  Go Team!  

Jen and andy 1

 Jen and andy 2 

Wonderful photos this month come from Gogs, Michelle, Andy, Craig, Tina, Andrew and an official DFES photographer.  If you take a photo you'd like to see here, please send it to Tina before the end of the month. 

 

September was all go!

Well, what a month!   

We had one call-out, to a car fire that didn't seem to exist!  We have also had one HRB of our own and helped the Shire with two more burns on the Railway Reserve in Sawyers Valley.

Gogs watching over the burn on the railway reserve. 

gogs

Jen and Andy enjoying the perfect conditions for our HRB.

jen&andy

Mirline got the hang of the firebug quickly under Angus's tutelage.

mirline & angus

Jenny and Michelle looking keen at the HRB.

jen and michelle

Phil and Pierre keeping an eye on the east side of the burn on the railway reserve. 

phil and pierre

Quite a few of our newest members have now done their two burns to qualify as fully active firefighters in this coming season, and we have plenty more who have one and are just awaiting their chance to get that elusive second burn.  Well done to you all!

Phil, Mirline, Pierre and Andy watch a car go by. 

team

How was this for a turnout from our Brigade to help the Shire?  Well done us!

team2 This month we had the chance to go and have a lovely breakfast at the Perth Convention Centre while we watched the DFES firefighter Awards.  It was a very pleasant outing for everyone who went. 

Michelle got this well-timed photo of Angus watching his video as part of the awards.  Good snap Michelle! 

angus

Here is the link to the three videos of the nominees for the Murray Lang Bushfire Service Award.  Nick from DFES did a fine job!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZKwK46NH-Y&feature=youtu.be  

After the breakfast we all took the opportunity to go and look at the exhibition, which was very interesting.

dfes

This was a display where you could type in your Brigade name and see how many incidents your brigade had attended in the last five years.  As you can see, with 271 attendances, our little Brigade has a very good work ethic!

screen

Here is the 1.4 making its first foray onto the new station entrance.   Many thanks to Keith, Les and the building committee for making this happen.  No more bumps!

apron  

We also had our own Brigade dinner this month.  Vicki, John and Keith and their helpers worked hard to make this a great night, and it was!  The Mt Helena/Parkerville CWA fed us royally!  Many thanks to Craig for remembering to take a couple of photos for us. 

dinner

It was a very friendly evening of good food and plenty of chat.  Our award winners received very nice engraved trophies.  

trohies

And Nick and Kath received their ten year service medallions.   Well done you two!  What an accomplishment!

kath and nick

This week our Brigade and the Austin made the Midland Echo with a report about local nominations for the DFES awards.  Angus and Stuart Parks, a career Firey from Midland were the two locals who were nominated.  Angus and the Austin made the photo for the article!

austin

http://echonewspaper.com.au/firefighters-dedication-recognised/

We will be doing more burns in the coming weeks for sure, and soon fire season will be upon us. If you are an active member and want to remain so, please make sure you have your skills refresher done soon. We need you! 

This coming weekend the Brigade is hosting a Swapmeet at Mundaring Recreation Grounds. We need more helpers so if you are a member, please put your hand up to come and help, and if you want to support our Brigade, come along as a seller or buyer.flyer

 

Many thanks for this month's great photographs go to:  Michelle, Andy, Andrew, Tina and Craig.

 

What have we been doing in August?

It has been so very cold and wet this month and no call outs to fires, but we've still kept busy.

On the last Schedules of July, we had Nick from DFES's Media Unit come out to take video and photographs of us, ready to make a short film about us as part of 1st Lt Angus Hay's short-listing for the Murray Lang Bushfire Service Award.

Filming 1

It was great to see so many members turning out to support Angus, and we had a bit of fun being placed here and there for the filming.

Andy & Phil

filming 3

New member, Phil, really looked the part up in the monitor bay with Andy! 

Andy & Phil

We loved this photo we managed to get of husband and wife fireys, Michelle and Elton.

elton & michelle

We also liked this very artistic photo that Mirline got of some of the crew!

arty crew

After we'd done some hose-work near the station, some of the members went with Nick out to the power-line trail to do a little more fiming. 

trail filming

He even had a drone, so the footage from that will be very interesting to see!   We're looking forward to viewing the finished film at the awards breakfast next month and will hopefully be able to link it here on the website.

drone

Work on our skills refreshing is still going on.  We borrowed the real fire blankets from the Mundaring Fire School to do some burnover drills.  Have to remember to keep those backsides and toes tucked in, and even in cold weather it's very good to be able to get out from under those hot blankets!

In August there was a Rural Urban Exercise (RUI) set up down in Darlington with all the local brigades attending. 

light tankers

crowd

Dave &Pierre & Andy

It was very educational to go round some of the houses and assess them as if a fire was three hours away,  seeing what houses we could defend and how to best prepare those homes for the fire's approach. A good reminder to us all that you should walk around outside and look at your own house with an approaching fire in mind, then make changes in acessibility and fuel loads to make it easier for a brigade to save your home.  Start preparing now!

The tall and the short of our brigade.  Everyone is valuable!

crew

After we'd done assessments under the experienced tutelage of Adrian and Dave,  we ran hoses out round chosen homes and practiced our Asset Protection, and ended the morning with debrief, then a sausage sizzle and some networking with the other brigade members at Darlington Station.

This isn't our team, because we didn't get a photo of our asset protection set up, but this is how it gets done.  Two hoses, one going to each side of the building.

asset team

Continuing the socialising, some members of the Brigade and a few friends from other brigades too, (Hi to Suzy from Bakers Hill and Kate from Darlington!) went to Mundaring Folk and Blues Club's August concert and had a great time listening to the musicians.  We also got in a lot of chatting in between acts, of course!  We enjoyed it so much, we think we'll go next month too, so if you missed out last time, come along!

Between The St. John's First Aid courses at Mundaring Fire School, and the WAERN radio course at Mundaring Emergency Communication Centre, both of which were attended by quite a posse of Sawyers Brigade members, a couple of Schedules in the month saw a few less people than usual on-station, but the last Saturday of the month was back to a full complement of eager members, here seen learning about connection points, flow rates, water conservation and more from Adrian.

adrian 1

The person on the far right of this next pic is one of our latest new members, Rob.  We have also been joined by Shaun and Andrew (yes another Andrew or Andy, we have five now and every one is welcome!)  The information evening we held this month for people considering joining was very valuable.  Thanks for stepping up guys!  Your brigade and your community are very appreciative!

adrian 2

Next month is going to be very busy.  We have our Brigade's annual dinner and also the DFES awards breakfast to go to.   (Go Angus go!)  Some members are also helping by being Trail Support Crew for the Oxfam Trailwalk and the Trek the Trail weekends.   We also have a combined burnover training event up at Chidlow Brigade to go to, and the annual "Dig 'em out day" for training on dealing with soft sand driving, organised by the Darlington Brigade.  That should be a bit of fun! 

Fire season is coming, and with all the enthusiasm we've brought to the many training events and classes we've attended, our Brigade looks like being super well-prepared for this year.   Well done everyone!

Great photos this month taken by Craig, Ricky of Darlington Brigade, Nikki, Mirline,  Andrew, and Tina. Don't forget to send Tina any photo you get that you'd like to see on the website.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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