October was a busy month

5 Minute Fire Chat

Firstly we would like to encourage everyone to check out the latest release by DFES, it may help save your life. Here is the link: https:// www.dfes.wa.gov.au/firechat/Pages/default.htm 

Restricted Burning and Permits

Our station on Ashstead St, Sawyers Valley is open every Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 am for permits.

Restricted Burning is in place for October and November. You may only burn a single 1 sqm pile after 6 pm without a permit. To burn any other time or a larger area you require a permit, which is free of charge.

Congratulations to Our Newest Firefighters

We have added a few more Daves to our fully fledged firefighters rosters this month.  Dave R. is a returning member who recently retrained, graduating at the Mundaring Firefighters School.  Dave W. is a very keen new firefighter who also graduated and has already attended his first call out.  Great to welcome you both.

Below left: both Daves checking the vehicles.  Below right: Dave W. having a screaming great time training on the Powerline track in the 1.4.



Dave is still having a screaming good time after a fire call.

Rudy's Ride

A few of us had the great privilege to meet Canadian Fire Captain Rudy Pospisil, who is riding from Perth to Melbourne, continuing his circumnavigation of the globe, raising funds for the Peter Mac Cancer Research Centre.
Rudy is quite an inspiration and took the time to enquire if our volunteers were well supported by health insurance.

We wished him all the best with his trip across the Nullabor and he assured us he had plenty of music and audio books to keep him focussed on the ride.

Good luck Rudy!

Please support Rudy on his ride, you can make a donation via his page, all donations over $2 are tax deductable.

Rural Urban Interface

Sawyers Valley participated in a large scale training exercise with other Mundaring brigades in Chidlow.  This is the first RUI exercise our new Mundaring chief has conducted since he was appointed earlier this year.  By all accounts it just as exciting and chaotic as a real large incident.  A few mock injuries and burn overs were thrown into the mix.


What is always wonderful about these excerises, is the support of the residents.  The residents allowed the brigades to enter and access their properties.  We thank them for their support and patience.



Not only is there the opportunity to work with other brigades but we all get to have a great spread and a yarn afterwards.

Swap Meet Fundraiser

This year the weather was kind and we managed to organise a very successful Swap Meet.  Thank you to the community members who came along and supported us as either buyers or sellers.

We were further supported by local businesses, with TJ Signs in Sawyers Valley making us some awesome banners.  Two local business allowed us to advertise the banners in front of their business so we would also like to thank Stockfeed West in Sawyers Valley and Specialty Feeds in Glen Forrest for hosting our banner.


Above right, one of our retired firefighters dropped in to say hello to Keith and Andrew.


We train them young in Sawyers Valley, here is young Alex with his very proud grandparents.  Looks like he is putting in some containment lines there in the sand.

Mundaring Firefighters School

Somehow a few of our members found time to improve their skills and qualifications at Mundaring Firefighters School.  A few of our different members recently passed: Introduction to Fire Fighting, Bush Fire Fighting, their MR Driver's License, Sector Commander and Structural Firefighting.

Below, the correct way to use a fire blanket or sneak up on your instructor.


Below left, Rob being quite tall is not afraid of heights, hauls up a fire extinguisher.  Right, we learn how to sneak up on basketball players with a hose by first spraying a fine mist to stun them, then a fine jet to take them out.  Not really, it is a technique for approaching a house fire without losing your eyebrows.


Hazard Reduction Burn in Chidlow

Just a few photos from the Hazard Reduction Burn near the pipeline in Chidlow this month. There were white, yellow, red, and blue hats at the burn, so quite a bit of diverse talent and expertise.


The pipeline as a barrier added to the challenge and created a certain degree of amusement when we needed to climb over. Must thank the crew for not taking my photo in those instances.





[Photos courtesy of Dave. W, Keith, Michelle, Rob and Andy]

Spring has Sprung

Spring is all about preparing for the fire season.  We train, check equipment and the appliances (trucks), and conduct hazard reduction burns.  Training occurs weekly at the station, sometimes at neighbouring brigades, the Mundaring Firefighers School and even further afield.

Burn Over Training at Chidlow

This month we were invited to train at Chidlow with other brigades. 

(photos below courtesy of Dave W.)


A big thank you to Chidlow for hosting two great inter-brigade training sessions over the two weeks. Burn Over training began with an informative classroom session, where they showed videos to traumatise the new recruits, but luckily they are still hanging in there and more motivated to do well at training. Then it was out into the field practising the Burn Over drills, where you get to do fun things like pull down curtains and hide under blankets in the truck.

Below are some great shots of the appliances with the curtains down. This protects us from the deadly radiant heat when trapped in an unavoidable burn over situation. (photos courtesy of Dave R.)


Hazard Reduction Burn

Earlier in the month, before all the rain, Sawyers Valley joined the different Mundaring brigades, along with the Shire's Fire Protection officers.  Not only did we assist in making the community safer, it was a great learning experience to work with other brigades and senior officers.   Your correspondent was deployed on the firebug, learning about different lighting patterns and adjusting for the changing conditions, to keep the burn safely within control.   

Below crews are keeping an eye on the burn, hose at the ready. But there is always time to chat.  Burns are always good fun and you get fed, so well looked after.  We also get to practise a few skills. (photos courtesy of Michelle)


The Volunteer Bush Fire Games

Sawyers Valley's representative at the games was the mighty Austin!  One of the Austin's first public appearances.  From earlier stories you may be aware of the beautiful restoration of the Austin by the tradesmen and apprentices at Westrac.

Below are two of the brigades veteran firefighters Keith and Les, proudly driving the Austin.  Not many of us have the skills to double clutch.

The Austin was in good company with Byford's Isuzu and the Westfield International.  All were a great hit with the kids and adults.

Parkerville proudly represented the Mundaring brigades in the games.  One of the challenges involved drafting from a collar tank, using the Light Tanker from West Gidgegannup.  The puddle forming underneath the truck is a sign of success.  They also won a 3rd place in the Burn Over drill in the Bunbury 3.4.  Well done Parkerville!


The Burn Over Drill was quite spectacular, with the monitor providing quite a spray and the odd rainbow.  It is wise to bring an umbrella.  Some video footage is on our facebook page, along with more photos and general fire information.  https://www.facebook.com/sawyersvalley/


It would not be firefighting games without some fire.


(photos courtesy of Michelle)

New Helmet for the New Captain

There were smiles all round when our Captain got a new helmet. 



Our friends at Parks and Wildlife have been busy putting in new firebreaks.  A good reminder to prepare your property for the fire season so it is easy for our trucks to access.



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.    





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