First officer of Willow Rural Fire Brigade Alex Heslin and Mine Warehouse director Brendan Buckton.
First officer of Willow Rural Fire Brigade Alex Heslin and Mine Warehouse director Brendan Buckton.

Volunteers raise awareness for rural fire brigade

VOLUNTEER fire fighters spent their weekend getting to know members of the community while raising much needed funds and awareness for their service.

Willows Rural Fire Brigade volunteers held a barbecue lunch at Emerald’s Mine Warehouse on Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15.

First Officer Alex Heslin said it wasn’t just about the Willows team but to raise awareness of all the rural fire brigades across the region.

“Emerald is surrounded by them and I don’t think too many people in Emerald even know where they are,” he said.

Part of the Willow Rural Fire Brigade crew held a barbecue fundraiser at Mine Warehouse Emerald on Saturday, February 15.
Part of the Willow Rural Fire Brigade crew held a barbecue fundraiser at Mine Warehouse Emerald on Saturday, February 15.

Mr Heslin said the rural brigade, which is completely self-funded, currently has about 17 volunteers and covers a large area spanning from about Jericho to Anakie.

“We raise all the money and have to pay for a lot of the equipment ourselves,” he said.

“We can always do with more funds.”

Mine Warehouse director Brendan Buckton was proud to get behind the team, especially as one of his employee’s volunteers for the rural brigade.

“It’s good to see people like Renae getting in and helping out where she can,” he said.

“These are volunteers, so they’re not getting paid to do what they do, they’re doing it off their own backs.

“They don’t do it because they have to, they do it because they want to.”

After being on the receiving end of a fire incident, Mr Buckton said it was important that people knew there were people close by who could help.

“With the recent events down south, I think it’s pretty important that the community gets behind them and gives them all the support the deserve,” he said.

“It can happen to anyone at any time.”

To volunteer or to find out how to support Willows Rural Fire Brigade, contact the Emerald station by calling (07) 4983 7580.