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Fire fight

WHILE Leongatha was being drenched with cold rain last week, four of its best fire fighters were on the front line in New South Wales.
Leongatha CFA members Scott Cameron, Greg Clifford, Nathan Hawkins and Shawn O’Keeffe spent last week defending homes and properties around Penrith as part of a strike team made up of Gippsland members.
They joined units and firefighters from Warragul, Berry’s Creek, Welshpool, Drouin West, Westbury and Toora.
The strike team was given the role of a rapid response team on the first day, with high temperatures and strong winds.
“We were a rapid response strike team. They didn’t want to put us in too close to the fires because of the obvious dangers for the day,” Leongatha CFA first lieutenant Scott Cameron said.
“They were very well prepared but at the end of the day, we didn’t do much but if things went berserk, we would have been there to keep things under control.”
On Thursday, the team was called to Lake Macquarie to save houses from flames.
“When we got there, there was pretty much grass fire coming up toward nearby houses,” Mr Cameron said.
The team protected a retirement village before defending a house.
“All of our tankers were placed around this house and property and the fire started to climb the hill, so we squirted a little bit stopping spot fires out of the bush.
“Within a few minutes we had four aircraft dropping water bombs in front of us. They did a fantastic job.”
There were more than 1000 firefighters from four states in the Penrith area when the Leongatha team was there.
“It is a pretty important job helping our interstate partners and at the end of the day one of the things that made me think about it is that they helped us during Black Saturday,” Mr Cameron said.
The exhausted firefighters returned home on Saturday while members from the Ruby brigade flew up to drive the Leongatha tanker back to South Gippsland.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9163

Posted by on Oct 29 2013. 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

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