Summer Fire Safety Tips From Epping Fire Brigade
Do your kids loves fire engines? For the children of Aurora, the dream of being a firefighter may actually be a very achievable one.
Meet Robert Saitta, Captain and Officer in Charge of the Epping Fire Brigade. He has been a CFA (Country Fire Authority) volunteer since 1994 and works with the station in his spare time when he is not at his paid job in transport and logistics.
“Ever since I was a kid l always loved fire trucks,” he says. “My next door neighbor was in the fire brigade so when l could l would always want to put on his helmet.” 22 years later, it seems like Robert still hasn’t taken that helmet off.
The Epping Fire Brigade is a well-entrenched part of the Aurora and greater Epping community. It was established in 1944 and still has 65 members – and looking for more.
If you’re keen to be a part of the Epping Fire Brigade, it is as simple as making contact at the station. Robert assures potential volunteers that no skills are required as all training will be provided so anyone can join.
Summer Fire Safety Tips for Aurora
Don’t let the wet winter weather fool you, says Robert, this summer is likely to be a high danger one for grass fires. While bush fires are not an issue, “we have a lot of grassland areas along the urban fringe. Due to the above average rainfall all vegetation has had a growth spurt and when the warmer weather hits everything will dry out very quickly and create a lot of fuel for potential fires.”
“If you live or work close to grassland or parks you could be at risk of fire this summer,” Robert warns. “Grassfires can start and spread quickly, especially on days when the Fire Danger Rating is Severe, Extreme or Code Red. Fire Danger Ratings tell you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. As the ratings increase, so does the risk of uncontrollable fire.”
“Don't be complacent. Don't leave it too late to act if you are on the urban fringe and it is a grass fire,” advises Robert. “Walk back 2 to 3 streets from the fire’s edge until the fire has passed. Then it will be safe to return to your home.”
“Also remember never to drive if you can see smoke or fire,” he adds. “Thick smoke will make it hard to see and traffic jams and accidents are likely. You need to keep roads clear for emergency services.”
To get in touch with Epping Fire Brigade visit their website or in person at 2 Oherns Rd., Epping, Tel: 9401 2464
For Fire Danger Rating updates go to http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/