Whether it’s a vehicle accident at 4am or a grass fire in the middle of summer, chances are you’ll recognise the faces of local Country Fire Service volunteers who are more often than not the first ones on the scene.
Every year, volunteers of the Naracoorte CFS Brigade contribute literally thousands of hours to dozens of call outs all around the SE to deliver professional fire and rescue services.
Naracoorte CFS Brigade captain Jim Reekie has been volunteering with the CFS for 23 years and along with many other local volunteers, believes his longstanding involvement is partly due to the cooperation of small businesses.
“I’ve been employed by small businesses within the town for the last 25 years and I’ve run my own business for 15 years. For many of those years I’ve also volunteered with the CFS as it gives you the opportunity to give back to your community,” he said.
Jim said the Naracoorte brigade is made up of dozens of volunteers with different skill sets that represent a broad section of businesses within the town.
“The CFS is quite an exciting organisation to be involved in and everyone who comes to our brigade brings different skills with them,” he said.
“From Pete Currie who’s a cook at the hospital to Andy Bartosek who’s a baker, and then there’s David Ludwig and Leon Wardle who bring mechanical skills and I bring my chainsaw skills – everyone has something that they can offer and it’s to the community’s benefit that these people are gracious enough to donate their time.
“I just think it’s quite important when people see that truck going through the main street, that they realise the people in that truck have jobs and lives too. When I walk out of my business, it stops, but that’s the same for everyone else. It could be your family farm or your friend or a family member that needs assistance from the CFS.”
Jim said the brigade was always on the lookout for more volunteers, regardless of age or background.
“Anybody that is interested is more than welcome to come down to the station on a Friday night at 7.30pm, come and see me at Jim’s Chainsaws or speak to another member of our brigade,” he said.
“If people want to be involved, don’t sit back and wait to be asked – it’s a very rewarding organisation where you can do what you can, when you can.”
Some of the workplaces represented by Naracoorte CFS volunteers include: Morris Bakery, Naracoorte Automotive, Teys, Foodland, Rumball’s Music, Jim’s Chainsaws, Reece Plumbing, Slip Oils, Naracoorte Lucindale Council, Naracoorte Primary School, Naracoorte Homemakers, Elders, Banner, James Building and Property Services and Naracoorte Hospital.