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New captain fires up Inverloch’s team


LEADING FIREFIGHTER: Steve Forrest receives the captain’s helmet from his predecessor Allan Williamson, at Inverloch CFA.

HE’S been a member of four brigades, works in emergency services and now has another role to his CV: fire brigade captain.

Steve Forrest is the new leader of Inverloch Fire Brigade, having taken over the red captain’s helmet from Allan Williamson.

He held the role for 14 years and followed in the footsteps of his father in law, the late Allen Miles, who was captain for 34 years.

His helmet is on display in glass case in the brigade, surrounded by photographs of his firefighting days.

It’s been a family affair, with Allan’s wife – Allen’s daughter – Kim secretary-treasurer of the brigade.

“I’ve been a member of the Inverloch CFA for 33 years. It’s the camaraderie and helping people that I like,” Allan said.

Steve wants to involve more Inverloch locals in the brigade and knows what it takes to be captain: “resilience, time, patience and empathy. You have to take the time to listen to people.”

A CFA member since he was a junior, Steve has served with Drouin, Doveton, Longwarry and now Inverloch brigades.

The benefits?

“Just the qualifications and the ability to work with a team under pressure and in challenging environments,” Steve said.

“It challenges you and it allows you to achieve something for the community.”

He has tickets in breathing apparatus, chainsaw operation, first aid, radio communications, and training and assessing, as well as a truck licence.

Allan recalled highlights of his turn at the top: building a new fire station in 2010, securing a new field operations vehicle and seeing the brigade grow.

It now has 54 members including firefighters and operational support volunteers who help with fundraising, maintenance, cleaning and catering, rather than don firefighting overalls.

Members have attended to nearly 100 callouts this year, ranging from a recent shed fire to bushfires at Grantville, Rosedale and  Yinnar, and car crashes.

The brigade recently took delivery of a new truck: an Iveco 4000 litre tanker with water cannon and crew protection sprays.

The Inverloch station can operate as a local command facility – a hub for managing bigger incidents such as small scale fires.

More members – seniors and juniors – are welcome.

Senior training/meetings are on the first Tuesday of each month from 7pm.

Juniors, 11-16 years, train at the fire station on the second Thursday of the month from 7.30pm to 8.30pm during winter.

All training is at the fire station.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=29584

Posted by on Jul 23 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

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