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If The Caves has a fire, it’ll be Malcolm to the rescue

Malcolm Hannah stands beside Caves 52 which has been named in his honour after his donation to the The Caves Rural Fire Brigade. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Malcolm Hannah stands beside Caves 52 which has been named in his honour after his donation to the The Caves Rural Fire Brigade. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

WHAT do you do when you have a huge fire truck parked in your driveway?

You ask if you can press the siren button of course.

As the screaming sirens ripped through the quiet Rockhampton suburbia on Thursday, Malcolm Hannah's eyes lit up.

It was a rare moment for the retired electrician, who has been battling liver cancer.

Recently, he has been told it's a battle he won't win.

"I had to do that just once," he said, with the sirens still ringing in his ears.

The truck was named after Malcolm for the generous donations he has made to the Caves Rural Fire Brigade over the last two years.

These donations amounted to $40,000 and allowed the brigade to build a new shed, something they had spent years lobbying for.

"It meant a lot to the brigade," Acting Area Director Tony Stroud said.

"Malcolm's donation went a long way to ensuring we have a permanent home.

"You can never repay someone who is so generous, but we wanted to show our appreciation."

Malcolm was also made an honorary member, receiving his very own fire helmet.

"They pulled the carpet out from under me... I was flabbergasted," he said.

"You just don't get these things."

Malcolm's interest in the brigade started after he saw a collection tin in a rural fire office on East St.

"I had connections with the land for a long time... I was in there picking up some goods," he said.

"I just enquired what they were after and they said they had been trying to collect money to get a new building.

"Their shed was as old as I am. It had dirt floors and was pretty run down. I was just in a position to help at the time."

Malcolm Hannah with members of the Caves Rurual Fire Brigade. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Malcolm Hannah with members of the Caves Rurual Fire Brigade. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Malcolm said he was struck by the actions of the volunteers.

"They have a family, they work and then they're out there putting out fires on the weekends," he said.

But humble Malcolm described his donation as a "drop in the ocean".

"It was a catalyst for other people to contribute and my word did they contribute.

"What's happened is so beyond my wildest dreams."

Topics:  liver cancer, rural fire service, the caves




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