Rural Fire Service open day in Googong a success

Residents from Googong and Jerrabomberra gathered in Beltana Park on Saturday for the RFS Open Day.

Hosted by the Jerrabomberra Creek brigade it was a chance for everyone to live their childhood fantasies by climbing fire trucks, try on some firefighting gear and have some target practice with the fire hoses.

However there was a serious element to the day with New South Wales now officially in the bushfire danger period.

Reports for months have warned of the heightened bushfire dangers this summer after a particularly dry winter which has left vegetation very dry.

RFS volunteers were on hand on Saturday to not only oversee the fun but to give advice to residents on protecting homes from bushfire.

The main message was to start early and begin preparing now.

Jerrabomberra Creek captain Steve Gibbs said people should discuss with family members what they will do in the event of a fire, either leave early or stay and defend your home.

He said that people should also be preparing their homes by clearing up flammable waste around gardens and gutters and have a plan in place for what to do with pets and livestock.

Captain Gibbs has been a member of the RFS for roughly 40 years and he said it provided a wide range of professional and personal benefits, including some surprising ones.

Jerrabomberra Creek deputy fire captain Nicole Clark met her husband Phil on the back of a fire truck. They’ve now been together 11 years, have a five-year-old son and still volunteer with RFS.

Ms Clark said the RFS features community-minded volunteers of all ages who are often the first on the scene in an emergency.

“Being in the brigade is like being part of a big family,” Ms Clark said.

“There is an element of danger at times, but there are so many opportunities to train and learn new skills.

“It’s a wonderful way to give back to the community.”

She also highlighted the importance of open days and other educational ventures for informing the community, particularly kids.

“If they are in an emergency, and see us in breathing apparatus for example, children know they don’t have to be scared,” she said.

Fun in the sun: Members of the Jerrabomberra Creek Rural Fire Service were training up the next generation of firefighters at the open day in Beltana Park, Googong. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Fun in the sun: Members of the Jerrabomberra Creek Rural Fire Service were training up the next generation of firefighters at the open day in Beltana Park, Googong. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

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