New station for Quaama brigade

• Brian and Mary Ayliffe cutting the ribbon to open the Upper Brogo Station.
• Brian and Mary Ayliffe cutting the ribbon to open the Upper Brogo Station.

THE Quaama Bushfire Brigade celebrated the opening of a new out-station at Upper Brogo last Saturday.

The event was attended by more than 60 people with some absentee residents travelling from as far as Canberra and Mel-bourne for the occasion.

The station will serve an isolated community located at Puen Buen, towards the head of the Brogo Dam nestled in the hills adjacent to the Wadbilliga National Park.

It is in one of the highest fire risk areas of the region.

Far South Coast Rural Fire Service manager John Cullen reminded those present of the importance of developing a fire plan that prepares all residents and their property.

In the event of a major incident, Mr Cullen said, the little red truck may not be able to help so everyone needs to know what to do and have their properties prepared before it happens.

Quaama brigade president Debbie Platts said safe and effective fire fighting was all about training, preparedness, team work and trust in your colleagues.

“This new shed will provide a fantastic venue for everyone to develop and improve their training and preparedness,” Ms Platts said.

“As a community they will assess each others’ fire plans and further develop the knowledge of the local area and potential hot spots.”

Ms Platts said all brigade and community members were extremely grateful for grants, including the ANZ’s Seeds for Renewal grant and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) Volunteers Grants Program.

These funds purchased materials and were matched with 260 volunteer man hours for the actual work in laying the slab, building the shed and finishing and preparing the site.

Bega Valley Shire mayor Tony Allen commended everyone on an extraordinary community effort.

Ms Platts said the brigade was especially appreciative of landowners Rob and Wilhelmina Blount, who have allowed the RFS to lease this area of land for the community benefit and to Graham Spicer for marshalling the volunteers.

The ribbon was cut by Brian and Mary Ayliffe who have a long association with the region.

Brian has more than 50 years experience with the Rural Fire Service and is a recipient of the very rare AFSM (Australian Fire Service Medal).

After formalities everyone relaxed, met a few neighbours they hadn’t seen in a while and thoroughly enjoyed a lamb spit donated by the Umback/Lucas family.

The Quaama Bushfire Brigade is actively working on a second larger station in Quaama village which it hopes will be completed by the end of the summer.

Future activities of the Quaama RFS Upper Brogo station will include installation of a composting toilet and the Clean Energy for Eternity Brogo Dam swim to raise funds for solar panels on the roof.