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Bannockburn Fire Brigade Awards


Rural  communities are renowned for helping themselves. This has grown out of need as families moved out of the cities in order to establish farms, or become involved in the timber industry.


During the Great Depression many rural families suffered extreme hardship and only survived because of the resiliance of the communities they lived in. 

During two world wars when the men folk were away, communities banded together to do what they had to do to survive.

Things that we take for granted today like the fire service, medical transport and services, rescue services and welfare were only possible in early years by communities banding together to help each other fight fires, floods, drought, accidents and illnesses.

One of these community organisations, the Bush Fire Brigade has grown into a well trained and well equiped sophisticated fire fighing service in the form of the Country Fire Authority or CFA as it is more commonly known.

In rural areas the local fire brigade is still run by volunteers - ordinary members of the local community who have been prepared to undertake regular and rigorous training to ensure they are well equipped to respond to whatever need arises.

These fire brigades are led by a Captain, supported by Lieutenants, a training officer and a brigade administrator or Secretary and a Community Safety Co-ordinator.

These positions are voted on every 2 years by all members of the brigade.

This year Bannockburn fire brigade saw the retirement of their Captain of 8 years, Barry Planner with his replacement being Dale Smithyman. 

Barry oversaw the rapid transition of our brigade from a rural brigade to one that has to be prepared to respond to a much more complex level of difficulty as we have seen the housing stock grow, an aged care facility established, service stations established and traffic volumes increase dramatically.

Barry has met this challenge full on and members responded by stepping up their training and skill levels under his leadership to a level not reached before.

We thank Barry for his leadership of the brigade over the past 8 years and his ability to think into the future so that the brigade would be prepared and able to step up to the next level as the risk rapdily increased. Also our gratitude to his wife Pam as she has had to cope with a disrupted family life as Barry continually came and went - often with no prior warning - to meet the demands of his position.

Dale, our new Captain, will be supported over the next 2 years by Lieutenants Shannon Robinson, David Pattie, Barry Planner and David Musgrove. Lyell Reeves remains as Secretary and is also responsible for the administration of the Fire Equipment Maintenance program. The Community Safety Co-ordinator role will be filled by Jo Crockett who has worked tirelessly over the past few years in this role.

Of course the brigade would not operate without the total support of all members - all of who are willing to respond to emergencies any time of the night or day when available. This is a huge commitment especially when they face significant demands from family, work and other community interests.

The brigade holds a dinner each year to recognise the contribution  members make to their community. This year we enjoyed a fantastic meal at the Bannockburn Golf Club along with some home-spun entertainment favour of our past Captain.

An important part of the night is the recognition of service by the presentation of awards.

These awards fall into two catagories - local Brigade Awards and CFA Awards that recognise years of service in the brigade.

The first Brigade Award was presented to Brad Watson - a relatively newcomer to the brigade - for the highest attendance at training and callouts.

The next Brigade Award went to Gavin Adamson for his overall commitment to the brigade.

Then the CFA SErvice Awards were presented to:
Shannon Robinson for 5 years of service
Dale Smithyman and Dale Adams for 10 years of service.
Paul Ashley, David Pattie, David Musgrove, Vicki Dobson, Adam Dobson, Matthew Hoskin and Daryl Pagan for 15 years of service.
Catherine Musgrove for 20 years of service
Shane Cook for 25 years of service
Gavin Adamson for 35 years of service
Neil Kennedy for 60 years of service.

Congratulations to all these people for their commitment to their local community.