Farewell but not goodbye

This week we say farewell to Ann and Charles, it is not goodbye for they promise to visit from time to time.  We will all still miss them though, and Saturday morning training will not seem the same.   We will miss your always charming, cheerful company.

Ann and Charles have been part of Sawyers Valley's brigade for over 20 years, though their community service began much earlier in Carnamah before they settled here.  They have stuck by our brigade, and the community through the good times and the bad.  They both still have many stories that remain untold to us all, so we will hold them to their promise to visit. 

A recent quote of farewell from Ann and Charles, "We leave the area with many good memories particularly from our life in the Brigade, when at first we were both able to go out on first call, and over the years of the many good community minded fellow members who became friends as well.  Folk all of whom we were able to work with in normal brigade duties as well as the extra events like cutting up tonnes of firewood, the raffles, and all the busy bees etc involved with the building of our wonderful new station.  That achievement is something the Brigade can and should be very proud of.  I do not know of any other Brigade that has built three stations by themselves.(each 0ne bigger and better)."


Working together with the brigade to build our rather impressive, bigger and better new station on Ashstead St.


Ann and Charles giving and receiving awards at the Annual Dinner.

A young Charles getting in some 4wd practise.


Charles is always good for a laugh.


Charles has a passion for classic vehicles.  One of his projects was the restoration of the grand old Austin.  Not a bad job to say the least.  Must say Charles looks pretty chuffed.


So again farewell Ann and Charles.  Thank you very much for your service to the community.  Thank you for your company, it will always be greatly appreciated.   We will keep a cup warm for you on Saturday.

June Brings Winter at last.

Well we have finally had a little rain and some colder weather.  Let's hope we get some more rain yet or it might be a very dry and fire-prone summer.

June saw us still doing HRBs, since the dry conditions made that possible.  This site down Cole Rd was one we prepared last year but then we didn't burn it due to much wetter conditions than this year.

It's a lovely area. The team together on the trail.


It took us two goes this year to burn the block this year too.  The first day we did all the preparation, but the dew never dried off.  We still had a good time, and with Dave the pro-photographer there, we got some lovely photos.

Jen and Rob.

jen and rob

Ken from Darling Range Brigade with Andrew.

ken and andrew

Young Andrew, as we call him to save confusion with all the other Andrews! 

young andrew

Father and daughter team, Ben and Zee.

ben abd zee

Most of the team on day one.  


The next week we went back and took care of the block at last, to the relief of the neighbour who lives nearby and who has been worried about bushfires.

Angus heading down the line.


The grass trees always put on a show. 

grass tree

Pierre looking mythical in the smoke.


Slanting sun catches the smoke.


There has been some pleasant time spent socialising in the sun at Saturday Schedules. 


Always thinking what he can do for the benefit of the brigade, Charles brought in a hose-winder that he has been making for us.  That will save us some time and effort!  Thanks Charles!


We held a wood raffle at the local market, complete with the usual pleasant chat with other members and the public.  Many thanks to everyone who bought a ticket!  The wood went to a very pleased recipient in Stoneville.  


And last but not least, we had a very generous donation to the brigade of one of our old Light Tankers!  

old truck

July will see us starting to work on our skills refreshers, some members will have driver and HRB training, and there might just be an AGM in there too.  See you at the end of the month! 

Photos for June were taken by Dave, Andrew, Michelle, Tina, Ben and Jen. 





Marvellous May

Sawyers Brigade has really been in the spotlight this month, with two separate appearances in the media.

First up, our own Jen O's photo was featured in DFES's Volunteer Month postings.

jen o

Then the women of the Brigade were asked to do a photo session and interview.  It was a weekday so not all of our lovely ladies could come, but many thanks to those who could, and to the fellers who came along to support us.  We had a jolly time doing the photos and having a cuppa afterwards.


From left to right, we have Jen O, Michelle, Delphine, Lynne, Jen G,  Mirline, Tina and Zee. This photo is one taken by a supporting hubby at the same time, but the best photo is to be seen here on the Gazette's site along with the article.

We hope very much that one day, some happy Fireys will be able to say, "That was the article that made me decide to join up!"

We had a couple of call-outs but nothing too serious. This was a bonfire in the forest that had been lit and well breaked by PAW, so we were asked not to put it out, but it made for some pretty pictures as the low sun caught the smoke. john 

john 2

Other things that happened this month were a combined BBQ brekky with Chidlow and Darling Range Brigade members. It mean a lot of laughs and much chat.  We love networking with other brigades and hope to do more of it in future.


Many thanks to pro-photographer, Dave Ramsay, who has recently rejoined the Brigade (Yay! Go Dave!) and used his whizzbang camera to take this pic for us.  He also took this one of our dear old Austin.


Jen G was her usual amazing catering self, and she had her brave team of BBQers working hard.  Breakfast was delicious!


We had the Annual Can-shaking Day in the city too.  Our Brigade was represented by plenty of dedicated members, including father and daughter team, Rowdy and the Ginger Ninja (who is a Mundaring VFRS Cadet.)  Many thanks to everyone who put in the time and we hope you had fun too.

craig and molly

Training goes on apace, and we have plenty of people heading to interesting courses in the next few months.  You can always learn something new when you are a Firey!

Mundaring Shire's Community Emergency Safety Manager (CESM) and Chief BushFire Control Officer, Mark Casotti, left the Shire this month to take on his new role in the Pilbara.  Mark has a long and valuable history with our Brigade, as does his wife, Zoe, and we wish them all the very best in their new ventures. We're very sure the Pilbara is gaining just as much as our Shire has lost and hope to see them back one day.


Fantastic photographers this month were:  Dave, Tina, Andrew, and Jenny.    




April Again!

April this year begins and ends with a Games Night, but we haven't quite had our second one yet! The first Games Night, early in the month, was for kids, both little kids and big kids, and a lot of fun was had.

Andrew playing a game of Tsuro with Sky, Jade, Chloe and Niamh.

Games 1

Angus and Max having a serious game of Battleship.

angus and Max

This was a very uproarious game of Uno at times.  The players and numbers of players seemed to change a lot through the course of the evening and lots of laughter was heard.


Jenga was popular too!


We attended one call-out to a fire on Wellbucket Road, well out into the forest in a pine plantation area.  With the smoke and the slanting sun, the scene was quite surreal at times.  This is Andy and Phil blacking out.


It was Phil's first turnout to a bushfire and he did great.  Well done Phil!

wellbcket 2

Andrew and Phil doing the black-out ballet...


Last week we took the 1.4 along to give the lovely people of the Darling Range Communications  Brigade an idea of how a burnover situation might look at the other end of the radio.  Angus, Jen and Andy did a great job of demoing.

demo 1

demo 2

While Andrew did an equally good job of talking the activity through for the viewers.

demo 3

We have had some good training sessions, both fun and educational.  Sister team, Jen and Tina, had a bit too much fun here, we think!

jen and tina

This is Ziana on the monitor as we test what sort of pressures we can make using different configurations between vehicles and the hydrant.


Murray and Pierre were our Light Tanker pilots for that one.  Looking good, guys!

train 1

Michelle looking glamorous AND paracticing her crew leader skills!   How does she do that?


Plenty of good work went into maintaining the station and vehicles.


And we did one HRB at a member's property where new members, Father and Daughter team, Ben and Ziana, got 'sooted' for the first time.  Well done!  They are halfway through their basic training course too.  One more weekend of training to go and some more HRBs and they'll be all kitted out and trained, ready to hit the fireground come next season.

ben and zee

Once again the smoke and sun made for some lovely scenes.



The weather is remaining dry and warm, making fuels extra flammable.  This is the mini fire tornado that came from a relatively small amount of fuel at our HRB. 

hrb flames

With permit season now on, please be very careful to exercise your good sense when you light up, and be sure to follow the local rules.  In Mundaring, without a permit, you can have ONE 1x1 metre fire at a time, lit after 6pm and put out by 11pm.  For permit burns, be very careful to follow all of those guidelines on the front and back of the paper.  Special rules apply if you want to do your verges, so do check with the Mundaring Shire about those. Remember your poor neighbours' lungs and washing when looking at wind directions, and make sure all is blacked out fully before going off to bed, so you don't get a visit from us or another Brigade at 2am because your burn got away!


See you in May!

Many thanks to the people who sent us great photos to use this month:  Andy, Phil, Michelle, Tina and Andrew.



Marching into March!

Well, what a busy March/end of February! 

We had a few call-outs but luckily none were large events.   There were calls to night fires, one of which was indeed a bushfire.

night fire

There were calls by day too.  Here are Jenny and the team heading out to a bushfire that was put out with quick work from our brigade and others.  We had so many people turn out that three people, all ready to go, had to stay behind to wave the trucks goodbye.  How great is that for a small brigade?  It doesn't always happen, though, so don't think we don't need you if you were thinking of joining!


This was a call to a bus on fire that was out by the time we arrived.


Another night call was to a person who had lit a barbecue fire because it was 'cold'.  Nope, that is not how fire ban season works.  Please leave lighting up until it is legal.  Next month begins permit time when you can have 1 x 1 metre fire after 6 pm, or other burns with a permit, and in June, when permit season ends, you will be able to light everything permit free, even bonfires!   As the above photos show, there is a reason why the fire ban is still on, even if it does seem unseasonably cool.  You don't want us lot arriving at your campfire with lights and sirens going... and even more importantly, you don't want to start a bushfire!


March also saw the Shire of Mundaring run their popular Combined Brigades thankyou night.   We really do get very spoiled!  We can't say we did any better in the tug 'o' war than usual, but we had fun. Many thanks to our intrepid team of Murray, Craig, Phil, Jenny, Ben and Pierre!  Congratulations to Mt Helena Brigade who won for the fourth year running.  Come on, what's your secret?  Do you guys put glue on your feet or what?  Our lot were slipping on the grass all over the place!


After the competition, the kids got to have fun with the rope.


Then it was time for dinner and music.  It was a glorious evening too, with the sky turning on a special show for us.


sky 2

Everyone had a good time. 



We have kept up the training well this month, too.

There was a visit to one of firegrounds from this month to discuss the way the fire acted. 


We had a interesting class lesson from Adrian on the two appliances and the best way to use the hoses and waterpoints.

We did work on correct hose use.



And there were plenty of trips out and about. Here are Andy, Rob and Ziana in the back, with Pierre driving and Ben out of sight in the front seat.


Phil and Nick take out the Light Tanker.

Phil and Nick

Murray did his Structural course last weekend too. Well done, Murray!  We hear you had a bit of fun as well as lot of learning!  

The appliances got some extra love and care last week from Andy, Ben and Angus.


The station got a lovely clean too.  Check out this spick and span engine bay! 


That photo was taken while we were hosting Stoneville Brigade to a pre-Saturday Schedules brekky.  It was a really successful event, with a lot of laughter and chat and delicious food.  The old Austin was much admired, especially when Charles got the siren going! We have been told we will soon be invited the other way, perhaps for a combined training exercise.   Sounds good to us!

Jeff and Andrew comparing colourful braces.       

Andrew & Jeff

  Jeff and Angus share a joke.

Angus & Jeff 

The amazing Jen, caterer extraordinaire, with her two Stoneville helpers, Laureen and Lynette. 


 Lots of eating and chatting!


Our brave BBQers, L to R, are Nick, Pierre, Rob and Ben.


So, all in all, it has been a very busy month.  What will next month bring?  Check back and we'll tell you!

One thing we do have coming up early in April is an information evening for prospective new members, so if you've been thinking about taking the plunge, now would be a fantastic time! 

Fantastic pics this month were taken by Greg from Stoneville Brigade (thanks Greg!) Michelle andTina.  Special thanks to Michelle who is so great at remembering to take photos and send them to the reporter! 


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