The current fire emergency sweeping our state and dominating worldwide media started back in August 2019. That’s five exhausting months that our brave volunteer firefighters from the RFS have been protecting our homes and livelihoods across New South Wales.
When the Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank branches launched ‘Fund the Fight’ campaign at the beginning of December, we had no idea of the scale of the fire emergency that lay ahead. Our intention at the time was to raise vital funds to help our new local brigade purchase much-needed equipment.
The Killara RFS was established in 2018, the newest brigade in NSW, with 30 local members and two trucks with standard-issue equipment. This newly formed crew has been on the ground fighting fires and conducting property protection every day on 12-hour rotating shifts for the last three months.
They have traveled over 10,000 km and have fought some of the most ferocious fires in the state from Gospers Mountain, Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and right up to the Queensland border.
Crews have experienced extraordinary highs and lows. The elation of saving a family home or business through to the heartbreaking loss of seeing property they have tried to protect become engulfed by flames.
One of the Killara crew, working together with other RFS members successfully resuscitated an individual who had a cardiac arrest while trying to save their home. They’ve also witnessed their fellow crew members being overcome with heat exhaustion. The exhaustion and emotional toll that our local brigade has experienced have been eased by the incredible generosity of the Ku-ring-gai community.
The support from the community has been a huge morale booster for the men and women of the RFS. A thumbs-up as the truck drives by, thanks from members of the public, and ongoing fundraising continues to motivate our local RFS team.
The money raised via the ‘Fund the Fight’ campaign is funneled directly into the bank account of the Killara RFS. This has enabled the crew to access vital funds to purchase essential additional equipment such as masks, fire ground radios, and 24hr supplies of emergency food.
There are still months of the fire season yet to come, with fires still burning out of control in New South Wales – the fire emergency is far from over.
But when Summer is over, and the fires are out, the Killara RFS brigade will be planning the build of their new HQ. The money raised by our local community through Fund the Fight and various other initiatives, over and above what is needed to fully equip the trucks, will be used to fit out the new station. They’ll be needing a workshop, air compressors, lockers and IT equipment for the training room. Every dollar raised from the Fund the Fight campaign will be put to good use, ensuring our local brigade are ready for any future emergencies.
Thank you to our incredible community for your generosity and support of the Killara RFS brigade. Donations can still be made online at www.tlcbb.com.au, or in either of our branches until the end of February 2020.