The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

Phone 07 5494 2454
Fax 07 54943268
Email: rangenews@dnet.aunz.com

Local Rural Fire Brigade
volunteers call for assistance

by Cameron Outridge

There are 45,000 of them, a band of men and women who voluntarily dedicate their lives to fight one of nature’s most unforgiving elements: fire.
Day or night, members are expected to drop what they are doing and get the trucks moving in less than seven minutes. They are the volunteers of the Rural Fire Brigade. But now these dedicated volunteers are asking for help and for financial support from the community.

Few people realise the Rural Fire Brigade is not totally government funded, the brigade receives money from the rural fire levy collected from council but unfortunately this is barely enough to fund operational expenses; such as fuel and equipment, let alone training, vehicle upgrades and welfare. State Government support is only through uniforms and some partially subsidised equipment. The Maleny and Districts Rural Fire Brigade is facing its busiest, and possibly most destructive bushfire year on record.

Already its volunteers have been flat-out, averaging four to seven call-outs per week in addition to patrolling fires and conducting burn-offs. But all this work, coupled with the recent purchase of new equipment for the fire season, has left a serious gap in its operational bank account and now they are asking for your help.

The brigade has launched a fundraising campaign, with the first event marking the start of fire awareness week. Come along to the stall beside the community centre this Sunday to buy cakes, scones and bric-a-brac, to make a donation or have a look over the fire trucks.

The brigade would like to thank the service organizations that said they would try to support the brigade, and the Maleny Singers whose members and visitors gave so generously at their performance last weekend. To make a donation visit Maleny Shoes and Accessories on Maple Street or send it to Maleny Rural Fire Brigade, PO Box 147, Maleny 4552.

If you would like to help with fundraising become a fire fighter, also in need, phone 0413 456 616 or 0427 071 591. Training for fire fighters is on the first and third Tuesdays each month.

Keep a lookout for future brigade fundraising ventures, and please try to support this hard-working group.

Rural Fire Brigade member Ben Phipps is one of the
dedicated band of volunteers who help ensure our safety.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.