The cool start to October has been a welcomed change from the heat of September. This can often be a time for the community to slow down and think that the bushfire threat is not there, however, we don’t need a 40 degree day to have a bad bushfire. We are still experiencing warm & windy days and very low humidity, be prepared fire can happen when you least expect it.
We need to continue preparing our homes for the fire season as the fire risk for Eastern parts of Australia has been elevated. Hazard reduction preparations will still go ahead to reduce the flammable fuel in strategic areas. This includes mechanical clearing i.e. slashing of undergrowth, or moving fuel by hand. This is a great opportunity to continue to prepare your bush fire survival plan and have your property prepared.
Training and new members to the Arcadia team– Congratulations to 9 new firefighters who have recently completed their bush firefighter course. We are very proud of their determination and dedication to the brigade, and we look forward to working with them out on the fire ground. Our latest recruitment has seen our female members continue to grow in number, a fantastic result. Within the brigade we regularly see all of our members continue to increase their knowledge and skills by completing courses such as Village Firefighting and Advanced Firefighting courses.
On the 14th of October, 4 members of Arcadia participated in the Firefighters Stair Climb for Motor Neuron Disease (MND). It was a grueling event that saw our team climb 98 floors, 1504 stairs, in full structural uniform. The event was to raise money for research, as there is currently no cure for MND or an effective long term treatment. This event was made more personal for us when dual members of the Hills and Hornsby/Ku-Ring-Gai districts reached out to Arcadia after losing a beloved family member recently to MND. Jenan was the embodiment of community spirit, not only being a NSW RFS volunteer for 31 years, but also volunteering in pony club and scouts to name a couple. Our team carried a photo of Jenan up Sydney Tower, and dedicated a level of the tower to her life. We have been humbled to have been asked to help honour Jenan’s memory by her family. We would also like to thank the local businesses and residents for helping us fundraise for this event.
Canadian Fires– Grant Paisley has returned from Canada after 42 days. Grant said, “It was a hard but rewarding deployment. We worked up to 12 hours a day for 12 days straight in often very steep terrain. The challenges for Canadian firefighters is very different. The fire smoulders for days or even weeks in the up to 1m deep “Duff” (matted roots and plant material) and when there is a hot dry day, it can re-ignite the pine trees and take off. The good news is there is plenty of water, so basically you set up containment with kilometres of 38mm hose pulling water from a river or creek, then patrol each day literally digging up the fire. The professionalism and depth of training we get through the RFS prepared us well for our time in Canada. The fires have affected a large number of Canadians and they appreciated our help and were fantastic hosts.