Last Monday the volunteers of the Daylesford Country Fire Authority (CFA) were called out to an incident where a tractor overturned on a farm, trapping the driver.  CFA sent a Rescue Truck and a Forward Command Vehicle, with 5 volunteers.  They were able to extract the injured farmer and give him immediate medical support until the arrival of the paramedics who then transported him for further treatment.

This was just one of the 150 call-outs the Daylesford CFA attends every year. Over the weekend, they had attended two house fires in Hepburn.

Our busy local fire brigade has a long and cherished history. The Daylesford Fire Brigade was established in 1861 after one of the many local pubs burned down.  It’s first Captain was an American who had arrived to find his fortune in the goldfields. In 1944, Victoria’s regional fire brigades were amalgamated to form the CFA.

Today, the Daylesford CFA Unit (still officially the Daylesford Fire Brigade) is made up of 52 volunteers, all unpaid, coming from a range of occupations including tradies, various professionals and retirees.  To become a member, they must live within 6 minutes of the Station and attend training on Monday nights and Sunday mornings.

The Daylesford Unit is unique in that members are trained and equipped for structural fires (domestic and industrial) and road-crash rescue as well as bushfires.  Their new Captain, Glenn Webster, has noticed an increase in road-crash callouts possibly because of the recent damage to local roads and an increase in ‘inattention’ by drivers.

Daylesford CFA is the Headquarters of the Glenlyon CFA Group.  Brigades in Hepburn, Leonards Hill, Musk, Porcupine Ridge, Glenlyon, Franklinford and Trentham make up a formidable force providing support across a wide area.  They operate and exercise together regularly.  If necessary, this Group can also call on support from Brigades at Ballan and Ballarat.

Glenn Webster is the 32nd Captain of this long-established Brigade.  He has 5 Lieutenants, each with distinct areas of responsibility.  They have a Heavy Tanker (water capacity 4 thousand litres), a Medium Tanker (2 thousand litres), a Pumper (for structural fires), a Rescue Truck and 2 Forward Command 4-wheel drive Vehicles.

The Daylesford CFA volunteers provide our community with a 24/7 service, unstinting and unpaid, sometimes at the expense of their careers, families and income.  But they, too, are members of our community and take great pride in continuing the tradition of ‘looking after our own’.

Some Daylesford CFA leaders (L to R) Geoff Morrison (2nd Lieutenant), Leanne Yanner (Comms. Officer) and Glenn Webster (Captain). (Photo: Dudley McArdle)