March 2018

First day on the month, Sawyers Valley assisted in battling a bushfire on Gorrie road in the afternoon and into the evening.

Thank you to all the friendly crews who worked with us. A big thank you to Parks and Wildlife for feeding us a great dinner while called away from home.

  

Smoke plume on arrival and the 1.4 gaining access.

  

East Gidgegannup's 12.2 providing water and back at the control point for supper.

Mundaring Shire Annual Family Event

Our members and families had a great time at the annual event.  Alas we did not win the tug-o-war, we need to discover Mt Helena's secret.

We would also love to congratulate one of our long serving members Simon Farrier on being awarded the Shire of Mundaring’s Life Membership after more than 15 years of firefighting and dedicated service. 

Simon is no stranger to awards and has taken on many different and significant roles in serving within the brigade, for the greater community.

"While at the Gnangara fire, a much fitter Simon was accused by another brigade member of pulling the fast attack backwards by the fire hose just to get to a fire!"

Thank you for honouring the brigade and community with your service and dedication Simon.

The Blue Sky Festival

Sawyers Valley along with Parkerville, Mt Helena and Stoneville brigades, presented a colourful display of information and awesome fire trucks.  It was a great day and hopefully we helped a few residents better prepare for the fire season.

   

Brigade banners displayed and Mt Helena's 3.4 next to the information tent.

The mighty Austin was very popular.

 

February 2018

Luckily there were very few incidents this month.

7th February

A not so clever crow picked the wrong place to view the sunset, resulting in a loud bang and a small fire at the base of a power pole. This will be the second crow related fire this season, that we know of, in the Mundaring shire.

   

28th February

It is National Red Balloon Day and we would love to thank more firefighters by recruiting. If you are interested in volunteering this year or in the future come on down and give us a visit on Saturday morning 9:30 to 11:30 am. We are tucked away at 12 Ashstead St Sawyers Valley, just off the highway. We always have some morning tea and cake at 10 am, so you are more than welcome to join us. You may also contact us on 0417 970 895 

 

 

January: This is what we train for

Beginning 8:30 am, Sunday 14th January, our crews were kept busy around the clock fighting the Sawyers Valley bushfire. Our teams provided crews for 4 shifts, some members assisting twice, some working through the night. A special mention to Graeme and Patrick for manning the mighty Whim Close 7.2. Other members supported crews in a great team effort with changeovers, equipment and refreshments. Many of us were additionally supported by our awaiting families, who make it possible for us to do what needs doing. Thank you again to all involved, near and far. The bushfire burnt 3263 ha, travelling 10 km in 12 hours, jumping the Mundaring Weir.

First responders

This is where we also give another thank you.  Featured in the photo is our automatic hose reel which saves valuable time and effort on the fireground.  Here is one of our Lieutenants quickly winding up the hose before leaving to refill the tank.  This is where we thank the community for supporting our fundraising efforts towards purchasing the automatic hose reel, along with Club Sierra, Bank West and the Shire of Mundaring.  Thank you!

View from Pickering Brook

This stunning photo was taken from Pickering Brook by Kathy Mathieson and was shared around the world by news media.

The following 4 images were shared by Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia.

  

  

Second shift.

  

Night Shift

  

Last shift with help from the rain.

  

Sometimes the rain is helpful, though can make the tracks more treacherous for the heavier trucks.

News Articles

Sawyers Valley fire: Mundaring residents put on alert as fire jumps Weir

Sawyers Valley bushfire: 150 firefighters tackle Shire of Mundaring blaze

The Sawyers Bushfire – Disaster Averted

Arson Squad launches probe into suspicious Sawyers Valley bushfire

Fire causes 'apocalyptic' skies over Perth, but emergency warning downgraded

December, so it begins

Saturday, 2nd December

Saturday mornings are our usual training mornings.   Before training started we received a call out to Mundaring for a minor incident, crews had scarcely returned to the station when received we another call out to assist Parks and Wildlife in Malmalling.

Sawyers Valley along with Chidlow, provided crews for 2 shifts at Malmalling.

 

Mundaring SES supported us by providing transport for the crew change.  Here is Warren, Michelle, Adrian and Rob (above right), waiting for the trucks to arrive for the crew change.

 

First crew ready for action in the 1.4, Craig, Dave W. and Ben.  Here are some of the fellas in the transport vehicle, heading back from the first shift on a hot day, Dave W., Andrew H. and Andrew M. (left to right)

 

With steep, new slopes there were a few action shots.

 

With steep, new slopes there were a few inaction shots too.  No one likes to say "bogged" so lets just say temporarily immobile.  As you can see, crews seem to really enjoy themselves.  Love that indomitable spirit of the volunteer.   Maxtrax were enough for our 1.4, metres away, Chidlow's 4.4 needed a little more help from an earthmover.  Nice of them to test out the steeper slope for us first.  At a distance I was wondering if 4.4s use different firefighting techniques, seeing them work with the hoses at full pressure, alas losing 4 tonne of water did not help the traction afterall.  Nice of us to join them and lift their spirits.

 

First crew making a dapper effort at drafting at high noon, versus second crew chilling at sunset.  Putting our drafting training into practise when the water tankers are off the scene, lucky to have a water source to draw on, though can take a little longer to fill the tank.

Christmas Lolly Run

Santa was very excited to have a ride in our mighty Austin with his friendly helpers.  Santa travelled the streets of Sawyers Valley on the morning of Christmas Eve, handing out lollies to all the good children, fininshing up at the Sawyers Valley oval.

 

 

 

Christmas Party

 

Third generation firefighters dressed and ready to go, lucky they have a grandmother who is talented at sewing.  The other kids not so lucky, but their mum and dad are both firefighters so at least they can hang out with the cool firetrucks.

 

The engine bay scrubbed up well and so did the crews.  Always lovely to catch up.

 

The important thing is that everyone has fun.   The helmet did have built in comms.

[Photos this month courtesy of Ben, Dave W., Keith and Michelle]

November, preparing for Summer fire season

Oh no! The station is on fire! Better call 000.

Just kidding, we always set fire to the station, no the surrounding vegetation everytime we have an international fire fighter vist.   If you are wondering, yes we did have a permit, it is the Restricted Burning period afterall.

Murray, Kyle and Andrew.  Kyle is from the Joint Base Cape Cod Fire Department, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (try saying that 10 times quickly). Nice of him to drop by the station for training with his brother in law Murray, even helped out with the small hazard reduction burn.   

Hitting the Tracks Training

 

Beautiful scenery and great company out on the tracks for training Saturday.   Looks like they had fun.   Phil is giving the camera a friendly wave, always a keen firefighter. 

Our keen followers may notice there are 3 Light Tankers in the photo.  Our 1.4 needed some servicing and upgrades, so DFES loaned us two Light Tankers in exchange.  Needed a slight reminder which truck we were driving when using radio, "Sawyers Valley Light Tanker 1, correction Light Tanker 3 leaving the station."  Some clever person placed stickers on the trucks to remind us, good move.

  

Elton and Murray refilling the Light Tanker on Cole Rd on the left.  Phil rolling the hose on the right.

Hazard Reduction Burns

Angus and Tina assisted with a Shire burn in Glen Forrest, with the Light Tanker.  Here they are blacking out.   Always a challenge to find people available during the week.   Shire Hazard Reduction Burns are great fun to attend, where you get to work with other brigades and the friendly Fire officers from the shire, who also volunteer.

One of our last residential burns for the year was near the highway.  The burn was conducted over 2 separate days.

 

We learnt the hard way, it is better to light up the bonfire after we finish eating our lovely tea and scones.  Gloves back on and springing into action is Dave sorting a tree.

 

Michelle raking on the left.  A rare photo of our First Lieutenant and previous Captain John, who has a talent for avoiding photos.  John has a very long and impressive history of volunteering.

If you look carefully you may just make out the lights on the Light Tanker.

We prefer to see this during the Burning Season, under control and monitored.

Some great shots coming up for our next December edition, stay tuned.

[November photos courtesy of Ben, Michelle, Brenden and Carmel.  Thank you everyone.]

 

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