June is nearly over!

This month has gone so fast.  Luckily we still collected plenty of photos!

Both Saturday Schedules and controlled burns have been fantastic, with a large number of people turning out, showing plenty of enthusiasm and good spirits. Many thanks to you all. You are making the Brigade and station a wonderful place to be!

We've had two controlled burns, and one call-out to a car fire this month. 

The first burn was at one of our member family's places in Mt Helena. A few of our new firefighters turned out and got their first controlled burn under their belts towards their full firefighter qualification.

craig and flames

Andy was hard at work and seemed to be enjoying himself.


Michelle did a great job with the firebug and the rake hoe, while Angus looked after us all.

Michelle and angus

We managed to find and safely move the resident bobtail to unburned land, so we were very happy about that, and the fire was a nice cool mosaic burn so the bush will soon recover.


The next burn was to be on crown land down Cole road. We did a great job making a firebreak that ran along a creek line and clearing existing firebreaks of fallen trees, but in the end the land was just too wet to get burning.  We actually had a great time, though.  Lots of good company, beautiful forest, and a fine and bright winter day made it all worth it.


Steffo and Jen seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Steffo and Jen

It's amazing how fast you can clear a break with many hands.  We reckoned we were rivalling the hotshots of the US for efficiency!   

The firebreaks will still be ready for us when the ground dries out a little, and then we will be able to complete the work.  Here is Gogs posing with the mega strong leaf blower that we borrowed for the day.  We're thinking it might be a good fundraising goal next. It made short work of the leaves on the firebreak and is apparently great for clearing around piles of logs and stags too. 

Gogs and leafblower

Our only call out this month was to a car fire in the evening.  It was dark and smoky.

smoky car fire

We are not equipped with the breathing apparatus to put out car fires, but we helped direct traffic.  Elton did a great job of getting the 1.4 through the confusion of backed up cars to the fire.


In fundraising news, Nikki ran another humdinger at Club Sierra.  Go Nikki!  Her lovely mum, Val, became ill at the event, and we are glad to hear that she is feeling ok now.  Final numbers are not yet in but the amount raised was around the $700 dollar mark!  Quite a few members went along to help set up and run the Ladies Night, and many thanks go to you all for that.  Our goal of getting the automatic hose reel winder has come a long way closer in the last two months!  Special thanks to Club Sierra! Many thanks also to everyone who donated products and services to the cause.  Here's Andrew picking up a generous voucher for the raffle from Hangers Boutique in Mundaring. 


Andrew has just today completed his Crew Leader training, so well done, Andrew!

Other generous businesses to thank and support are Amcal Chemist Mundaring, Earnshaws, Mundaring Massage, Patch of Country, and Tulips beauty salon.  Also our own Jen and Steffo Gardiner once more suplied a table full of amazing food, so many thanks for that to you both!

This month, some of our members popped in and tackled the woodpile for our long time stalwarts, Charles and Anne, who spoiled us with afternon tea afterwards. We are hoping to get that pile down to nothing very soon!


This Saturday we broke into teams and took turns clearing out the old fire station and doing a driving GPS exercise.  We got a long way towards having the old station fully clear.  "Many hands make light work!"  A little rain made the driving more fun too.

Driving in the rain

Little Niamh was a great help at the old station and can hardly wait to be old enough to be a cadet!

niamhin LT 

Our AGM saw that quiet achiever, Warren, scoop the pool of prizes, with awards both for most valuable member and also the Equipment Officer's choice.  It just goes to show that those members who go along quietly doing their best are noticed and appreciated more than they might know! 


Photo credits this month go to Andrew, Craig, Elton and Tina. Don't forget to send us any great pics you get!






News for May

Well, it might be off fire season, but the brigade has been very busy.  There were so many great photos taken that it was hard to know which ones to choose!

Right at the end of April, we had a Games Night at the station.  Sadly only one photo was taken, early in the evening, because we were all having too much fun to remember to take any after that. By all the reports we've had, it was a successful night.  Many thanks to Jen and Steffo Gardiner for providing the incedible spread of food that we were spoilt with.

Games night

We have had four new members go through their basic training this month. Many congratulations to Andy, Jenny, Mirline and Murray.  We are very glad to have you on board with the team!  Looks like you had some fun at training!

Andy & Mirline

We are also very lucky to have had Gordon's brother,  Pierre, join us from West Swan Brigade.  Their loss, our gain!  Pierre is already trained and ready to go.  

Niamh from the local Cadet Brigade came out to a Saturday Schedule and gave us an example of the sort of thoroughness the Cadets learn to put into vehicle checks.

Niamh & Michelle

On the 14th of May, Club Sierra hosted a Fit Night with proceeds going to our Brigade.  Many thanks to Julie and Tarrin for offering their venue and services, and to our own Nikki for organising it.   Four members, Andrew, Gordon. Pierre and Tina,  went along to do a bit of PR and ended by joining in to the whole hour's class, boots and all!

Tina Gogs and Pierre

Gordon even wore his helmet for a while!  Brave man!

fit night 1

It was a great exercise in community spirit all around.  There was also a raffle with prizes provided by Mundaring flower Shop, Arbonne via Nikki, The Body Shop, Earnshaw's RE, and Jen and Steffo Gardiner. If you can, give them some of your custom and tell them why.  :) 


On top of all the fun and fitness, the night also earned over $600 towards the automatic hose reel winder that we are currently raising funds to buy.   Well done to everyone involved!

Next month, Club Sierra will once more kindly open their doors for us, this time to host a Ladies' Night.  $10.00 will get you in, plus a glass of champers, lots of lovely nibblies, and many freeby items and special offers provided by a range of stall holders. It promises to be a good laugh so if you know a lady who likes a bargain,  or are one, use this link to buy your tickets.


On the 20th of May,  16 of our brigade members turned out in Perth to raise money at the annual street appeal for the bushfire brigades.  This was a fantastic effort, as the more people you have, the more money comes to your brigade.  We aren't sure of final numbers, but it looks like $3000 or so will be our share for this year. Woo hoo!

Secretary Vicki and Captain John were there, working above and beyond the call of duty as usual.

John & vicki

Charles, who has been to this event to collect money for us every year for 20 years!  Go Charles!

charles and tina

Jenny got what we think was probably the best single donation of the day of $100!  Well done Jen!

The archive shelves upstairs in the station are finished at last!  Yay, no more head bumps! (Though it might be too late for Tina, judging from that photo!)


Saturday Schedules have been bustling all month.  It has been fantastic to see so much enthusiasm at the Brigade.   The cup of tea time is always a good laugh and chance for the team to bond a bit more.

cup of tea

We have also done some very interesting training exercises.


And had fun too.

jen and andy

We haven't managed any controlled burns yet, due to heavy rain popping up to spoil our plans every time, but we're hoping to change that at the end of this week.

Last weekend we got a table together to go to a Quiz Night being held at Gidgegannup to help a mounted games team get to Ireland for the world champs. It was a fun night.  We were running second after three rounds but a couple of bad rounds after that saw our standing drop.  We're sure that all the beer didn't have any effect on that!

quiz night

The AGM is on tonight.  Don't forget to come if you are a member!  There will surely be news from the AGM in next month's news.  Who will win the Melting Moments award this year?  The suspense is intense!




News for April

Well, let's see, firstly we've had a quiet month for fires, which is very good news!

There was a car fire down Mundaring Weir Road, which our Brigade attended to make sure it didn't get away into the bush, and to help direct traffic.


We were very pleased to see that Captain John attended that incident after a long recuperation time after an operation.  Good to see you back on the turnouts, John, we've missed you!

We've had some good times training this month:

New members, Michelle and Andy, had fun at Saturday Schedules with the help of Elton, Andrew and Allan.

sat sched

sat shced 2


Quite a group of us went up to the Chidlow VBFB's Station to join in on a seminar on smoke and using the full face respirators that we now carry on the vehicles. Others of us completed the same course last year here at our station.


Selfie photo of Mike wearing his resipirator from the Facebook page of Chidlow VBFB!   

We also had some fun at our station doing a quiz that combined radio use and mapping.  This was only the dry run to get us familiar with the concept.   Next month we are going to take our radios and head out in teams and see who can answer all the questions first with the correct radio form, and win the much-coveted choccy frogs!

This is Team Bravo working hard on an answer. 


Last Saturday we headed out with a full crew to check out some different tracks in Sawyers Valley and to give everyone a go at driving.


We all moved around positions in the vehicles, which was lucky because it got a bit squeezy in the back of the 1.4!

14 squeezy

It was still fun being out with the team!


Building at the station is still going on.  The archive shelves upstairs are now being put in.  We now have a security spotlight on the west side of the station.

We are very happy to have Michelle joining us here.  Michelle is married to Elton, so we now have another husband and wife team on the Brigade.  It means you always have something to talk about together, that's for sure! 


At the end of April, we are having a social Games Night at the station. Steffo and his lovely wife, Jen, have very kindly offered to cater it, so we are looking forward to a very fun and tasty night.  Photos next time!

Many thanks to this month's photographers: Warren, Mike, Andrew and Tina.





News for March

We've been busy this month.  We didn't have many fires to go to, but we did a lot of socializing!

Morning Tea

With the Combined Mundaring Brigades BBQ coming up, we spent a little bit of our Saturday Schedule time practicing (with the great leadership of Allan) for the Tug-O-War.  These guys had the 1.4 rocking!


There was a fire at Boya that got into some cars and threatened some houses very closely.


The smoke downwind of the cars was nasty.



But the fire was soon dealt with by the many Brigades that attended, and we went back to the station with enough energy left for a little fun with photobombing while we did the cleanup.


The Mundaring Fireschool is back into swing again, and we have had one member finish his basic training.  Well done Craig!  Nikki and Tina attended the Structural Firefighting course too.  There is always more to learn, including, in this course, how to handle the big fire ladders and different types of fire extinguishers.  Here's Nikki practicing a leg lock on the ladder.


There were five women at the Structural Firefighting course, outnumbering the guys by one!


The Shire of Mundaring puts on a BBQ and Tug-O-War event each year to thank the volunteers and their families for the good work they do.  It is a very jolly and relaxed night.  The kids had a great time.


And so did the grown ups, if mostly more sedately!


Our team in the Tug-O-War went out in the first round, but we were beaten by the eventual winning team, Mt Helena, so we didn't feel too bad.


Many thanks to the Shire, and to Jenine Banks and her helpers, who gave us a fun night and a great meal. We feel very loved! 

There was a fire in the night out near the Mundaring Weir Taven this month, but many appliances attended and it was soon dealt with.


Our Station hosted a team competing in the John Moyle Field Day again this year under the callsign VK6SVB.  We entered as a multi-operator station and operated for six hours on all bands.  We made 52 contacts and scored 116 points.  Results of placings are not yet known.


Set up and pack up provided Keith, Adrian and Andrew with some great views from the roof of the station.


Work on the new station is still going on.  Shelves are currently being built by Les to hold the Brigade archives.  Onya Les!  Other finishing touches are still being applied here and there as well.

Certain informal members of the Brigade are not impressed by how much time their owners have been spending working around the station!


Last weekend, our 1st Lieutenant, Angus, along with Jenny, Niamh, Indy and Andrew, went along to talk to people at the Mundaring Community Fair.  They had a good time handing out balloons to kids and talking to adults about joining our Brigade.


We have gained two new members from this day and a very, very warm welcome is extended by us all to Andy and Murray, who have stepped up for their community.  We look forward to getting to know them both better in the coming months.

If you are reading this and have been considering joining the Brigade, now is a great time to do it.  By the time the fire season rolls around again, you will be trained and fully geared up, and you'll be raring to hit the fireground as part of our great team.  We understand the pressures of work, family and even health issues, because we have them too.  If you are willing, we will be glad to work things out with you.    

With plenty of rain over the Easter period, we're hoping that this will be it for the season for bushfires, so if you plan on burning off (once the restricted period is over) make sure you follow the rules and that your fire is properly out before you leave it.  Most calls from now on through winter will be to burnoffs that got away.  Don't let yours be one of them!


Photos taken by Andrew, Elton, Nikki and Tina.  Many thanks for letting us use them for our news.  If you have a photo of Brigade activity that you'd like to see in the news in future, please send it to Tina.


Brigade News For February

Well, February has had some nice cool weather and given us a bit of rest.  We've still had some work to do, though, and of course maintenance and training goes on all the time.

Here's new brigade member, Craig, practicing driving the 1.4 on a Saturday Schedule morning.  Everyone gets a turn.

 We went up the powerline trail in both vehicles, being chased by a thunderstorm!

Powerline Track

It got a bit bouncy but lady firefighters are tough!


Earlier this month we had two fires in a row, deliberately lit, that saw the Brigade fighting fires in the The Lakes area for three days in a row in over 40 degree heat.  We did a marvelous job, fielding teams for two shifts for all of the three days.  A great achievement for a small brigade!

Andrew & Paul T

It can be very busy at a fire, but there are also times where you need to wait for some reason, and it is surprising how well you get to know and appreciate your fellow firefighters in the course of a shift.  It's not all serious!

Elton & Nikki

Elton Angus& Andrew

There has been much talk of getting some extra fund-raising geared up to help us purchase an automatic hose reel winder for the Light Tanker.  Hand-winding a hose might seem relatively easy the first time you do it, but by the tenth time on a fireground, after dragging a heavy water-filled hose all over the place, it begins to seem a tad harder!  If you feel you can add some enthusiasm and/or experience to our fund raising team, please step forward.  You'll be very welcome!  Support roles may not seem as 'sexy' as active firefighting, but without people filling those jobs, we can't carry on.

One support role that has changed hands this month is Equipment Offier.  Many thanks to Elton for taking on this position at the last AGM, and we are very glad he is continuing in his role as firefighter for the brigade.


The new EO is Tina, and I'm sure we all wish her well as she learns her new position.


The last Saturday of the month saw our brigade once more turning out teams for a fire,  this time one in Beechina.  Eleven members fielded over two shifts.

Some were newer hands like Gordon,  who may be young, but he is a great driver and has a good eye on the fireground, plus boundless enthusiasm.  A great combo! He has recently been 'blessed' with the nickname of Gogs! 


Then there were the stalwarts of the brigade, like Warren, who has seen many a fire and his experience and calm way is very valuable to the brigade. 


Night shifts can be very confusing, with flashing lights, fire and vehicles everywhere.

Night fire

But afternoon shifts can give you sudden opportunities for moments of great beauty in the midst of destruction.


As we head into autumn, we hope that cooler weather will see us turning out to less fires in March.  We have a Shire BBQ and tug-o-war to go to next month, so that will be a nice change of pace!   

Thanks to Andrew, Elton, Nikki and Tina for the great photos.



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