Six volunteer fire fighters from brigades in Roleystone and Bedfordale joined dozens of others from around to the state to travel to Queensland last week to assist with major fire efforts.
An out of control bushfire that tore through parts of southern Queensland forced the state to cry out for much-needed help with more than 30 volunteer and career firefighters boarding a plane last Thursday to offer support.
Lee Waldon, Adrian Featon and John Townley from Bedfordale and Scott Baker, Mark Thompson and Peter Quartermaine from Roleystone said their goodbyes to partners and families last week to assist on the frontline.
Mr Baker said the biggest thing he learnt from the experience was the need to conserve water.
“When gum trees look tired and dry and a town only has three months of drinking water left, what does a town do when there is no water left?” he said.
“The community of Ballendean will only have enough scheme drinking water until December 2019 and this is beginning to take its toll on the residents.”
Mr Baker said when the crews landed in Queensland they were deployed to the towns of Ballendean and Standthorp where their primary aim was to maintain a presence in the community, patrol fire grounds and give the local brigades a well-deserved rest.
“Roleystone brigade was responsible for responding to triple zero calls as they came in,” he said.
“Once the Queensland fire services management team had begun winding down at Standthorp and Ballendean, Roleystone along with the Perth Strike Team headed to the town of Canungra.”
Bedfordale Brigade president Tony Ives thanked those from his brigade who put up their hand to assist.
“Sometimes the enormity of a major bushfire is simply too much for the local and regional brigades to cope with,” he said.
“Like us, they are mainly volunteers and have family and work to put before volunteering, although when the call comes, volunteering often take priority so it is important to make sure everyone is as rested as possible.
“The only thing a volley looks for in return of their services is a thanks and the gratitude shown by the local communities has been enormous and that makes it all worthwhile.”