At last, Tailem Bend CFS moves into new station
All the brigade needs now is enough volunteers to really fill the place up.
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Fire season is coming, and Tailem Bend CFS will be better prepared for it than ever before.
The brigade moved into a new station on Tuesday after more than 10 years of planning, lobbying and negotiating.
The station has space enough for four trucks rather than two; separate toilets and changing rooms for male and female volunteers; and other facilities undreamed-of at the old, outdated station.
Tailem’s firefighters will now be able to use rainwater for training instead of wasting mains, charge their radios even when the power is out, and clean their equipment in a special decontamination area instead of the kitchen sink.
Captain Dwayne Martin said the move had been long overdue.
“Up until recently our third truck lived in my backyard,” he said.
“We’ve had that third truck for about five years.”
The trick now will be filling the new station with volunteers – the brigade had 16 regulars, but another dozen would be ideal, Mr Martin said.
He hoped the new digs might entice people to come and take a look, and to consider signing up.
“It’s nice to give something back to the community,” he said.
“At times it can be a bit of an adrenaline rush.
“Then you’ve got the social side of it: we meet once a week for training, a catch-up with the guys and girls, they’re like an extended family.
“We have a barbecue every couple of months and everybody brings their families down.”
As well as fires, the brigade’s volunteers respond to road crashes, storm damage and all sorts of other situations.
They had not yet received the first call-out from the new station when Murray Bridge News visited on Friday afternoon.
But it was always good to be ready, the captain said – and that went for the rest of us, too.
“Now’s a good time for people to start thinking about preparing (for summer),” he said.
“We’ve got some warm, sunny days; it will only take another month and things will be starting to dry out.”
More information, volunteer: Visit cfs.sa.gov.au or attend a training session, held at 7pm on Mondays at Tailem Bend CFS, 6 Golf Course Road.
Photos of Dwayne Martin and Stephen Scarr, the old station, and a change room at the new station: Peri Strathearn.