On the 14th of September between 10am and 2pm the station will be hosting its annual Get Ready event. It’s a great opportunity to come up to the station and meet your local firefighters. It’s also a great opportunity to get a better understanding of our role within the community and the risks Arcadia is exposed to. If you’ve got any questions we’re more than happy to answer! We can all agree that Arcadia is a special part of the world that is surrounded by phenomenal views and bushland. We also have a number of families, and a large number of livestock that call this slice of utopia home. At this year’s Get Ready Weekend we will be encouraging our community to do their bit to be prepared for the 2019/2020 fire season. Winter has been particularly dry, and NSW has already experienced a number of large bush fires that saw firefighters from the Hornsby district, and members from Arcadia, get deployed as part of a strike team to Northern NSW.
Preparing your family and property does not need to be a hard or intimidating task. Simple ways to start preparing your property is with general home maintenance. This includes clearing gutters, trimming hedges and trees, mowing lawns, and removing anything flammable away from your house i.e. firewood for next year’s winter, fuel containers, BBQ gas cylinders. This reduces the fuel around your home, which is necessary to minimise the impact of an ember attack. Not all properties back onto the bushland, however, they can still be within the ember attack zone. Embers are small coals, which can carry a substantial amount of heat that can rekindle a fire. Embers can be so small that they can become airborne, and lodge themselves in the eaves of a house or within the debris that wasn’t removed from the roof gutters. Make sure you sit down with your family and discuss what you will do in the event of a bush fire. Will you stay and defend or will you leave early? Do you have animals that need to be transported? These are some questions you need to consider when deciding what you want to do. It is also important to have back up plans. You can assess your risk using the bush fire household assessment on the NSW Rural Fire Service website, and learn more about the fire danger ratings and alert levels.
In other news, Arcadia has gained 3 new breathing apparatus operators (BAO), and our first 2 female BAO’s. Our firefighters are equipped with the skills to carry out firefighting activities at structure fires and other incidents. Breathing apparatus requires the use of a self-contained compressed air breathing apparatus. We’ve also had members complete their Rural Fire Driving course to drive our Cat 1 tankers (the big red trucks). Other members have been methodically completing modules for Advanced Firefighter, Community Engagement Facilitator, and briefing and debriefing courses.
In mid August, Arcadia was invited to the Blessing of the Fleet service held by the Galston Uniting Church. This service is held annually prior to the upcoming fire season. As always it is a great event, allowing everyone to reflect upon why they volunteer, and it was unanimous that community was the key reason why. To top it off we were treated to a scrumptious lunch and caught up with friends.
Finally, a big thank you to the Proudly Arcadian team for inviting us to the annual community dinner, there is nothing quite like Arcadia. We’ll be back next year to celebrate all things Proudly Arcadian!
Arcadia is running a members recruitment drive! We’d love to meet you, and there is always a role for everyone. Be sure to visit us on the 14th of September between 10am – 2pm to find out more about what’s involved and how you can assist your community.