CFA video runs hot

HAPPY DAYS: The rain was something to celebrate for Rollands Plains resident, Sue Manchester Regan (front). She is pictured with Forestry Corporation New South Wales’ Ashley Dand and CFA members Jake Dunn (Loch), Dale Carruthers (Leongatha) and Hugh Debenham (Koonwarra).

Matt Dunn

IT’S a video that has quickly gone viral.

Last week Leongatha Fire Brigade posted a short video to Facebook, that sparked interest all around the world.

As The Star went to print yesterday (Monday), it was fair to estimate the amount of views at well above one million.

Footage captured in Rollands Plains, north-west of Port Macquarie, NSW, showed local CFA members Jake Dunn (Loch), Dean Pitts (Leongatha) and Hugh Debenham (Koonwarra) jumping for joy as the rains tumbled down, alongside Forestry Corporation New South Wales’ Ashley Dand and resident Sue Manchester Regan.

Sue did a rain dance, much to the delight of the others. What no one could predict was the reaction from news agencies and the public.

Dean admits to being “embarrassed” at the extravagant amount of attention the video received.

“I don’t want to take away from all the firefighters are doing in New South Wales. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time, when it was bucketing rain,” he said.

“It could have been the boss of the CFA, the boss of RFS, it could have been anyone. We just happened to be out the front of Sue’s house.

“Because the story went all over the internet, a news crew was sent out and they did a story on us right there.”

A humble Dean said he felt the attention “wasn’t right”.

“All I wanted for them to depict in the story was that everyone was putting in. There’d been six or seven strike teams go up before us, who’d put in a lot more hard work,” he said.

“But to see the look on Sue’s face…that’s why I volunteer. To see her dancing around in what was two inches of rain in a matter of hours was why you do it.

“She hadn’t slept properly in a month; kids hadn’t been to school. The husbands up there were doing full-time jobs, then firefighting before and after work.”

Other firefighters were fly-in-fly-out workers, away for three weeks at a time and firefighting on their week off.

Leongatha captain Dale Carruthers, the man who filmed the celebration, said that despite the feel good footage, the rain actually made the job a little harder for his crew, who were working at back burning in the area.

“The fire we were tasked to was 87,000 hectares, with a front of 744 kilometres. We were dealing with where the head of the fire was potentially going to get to,” he said.

“We were putting in control lines three of four k’s ahead of the front. There was about 15 kilometres of control lines.”

Dale said the local crew fought alongside others from New South Wales and New Zealand. There were also other local firefighters, including members from Dumbalk, Foster and Pound Creek.



Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30489

Posted by on Dec 3 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Recently Commented

  • wstaton: I guess it means he will not be able to attend any council meetings saving us ratepayers his claims for...
  • rojo: Awesome work Lynette
  • vbresident: I read Ms Page’s offering and nearly choked laughing. We have a property on the second estate in...
  • brad: Hi Robbie. Would you like your comments to run as a letter to the editor too? If so, we just need your full...
  • robbiemc: The local council should not be wasting ratepayers money to build a rail trail. And more to the point there...