Robert Aspinall, Clark Feadon, Brad Kingston, Jason Dobson, Anthony Carter and Jeff Farrell volunteer their time for The Caves Rural Fire Brigade.
Robert Aspinall, Clark Feadon, Brad Kingston, Jason Dobson, Anthony Carter and Jeff Farrell volunteer their time for The Caves Rural Fire Brigade. Sharyn O'Neill

Fire Brigade calls for help

EACH time volunteer firefighter Gary Dash attends a fire he walks away from his business and his family’s livelihood.

But that doesn’t matter to him.

Floods or fire, The Caves Rural Fire Brigade volunteers are modern day heroes – although they deny it – always ready to leave their jobs or beds at a moment’s notice.

We call on people like Gary and the group’s first officer, Brad Kingston, a QRNational worker and young father, to save our lives, homes and properties.

What many don’t realise is that The Caves’ firefighters who volunteer their lives to help and ask for nothing in return, pay for most of their training, equipment and fire trucks.

Although rural firefighters help cover 93% of the State, they receive 8% of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service’s budget.

The rest comes from donations and the small amount they receive from rates.

But The Caves’ cannot fit all their trucks and equipment into their dingy, dirt-floor shed, fitted with a donated toilet and rickety plastic chairs.

Already they have been forced to delve into their shed savings account to pay for diesel in a fire season that is shaping up to be the worst in 20 years.

In the past three weeks they have attended 13 grass fires that have ravaged over 12,000 hectares.

For once The Caves rural firefighters are asking for help.

Knocked back for two grants to upgrade their shed, they are turning to the community they protect for assistance.

“We’re not asking for a hand-out, we understand how hard it is for people,” Mr Kingston said.

“We need a better shed, having the trucks out in the sun and heat, they just deteriorate,” Mr Dash said

The area they help cover spans as far as Dysart in the west, Miriam Vale in the south and Ogmore in the north.

“No matter what, we’re always the first ones there and the last ones to leave,” fellow rural firefighter Jason Dobson said.

“We just believe in giving back to the community.”

If you want to help or donate, email emma.mcbryde@capnews.com.au or write to your member of parliament calling for help.



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