Cherry Gardens Air Operations Support
I have been asked many times why we voluntarily give up our time and occasionally leave our families in order stay active in the CFS. Here is a personal account of one of our members and their journey to becoming a fire-fighter -
Joining the Cherry Gardens CFS Brigade has been one of the best things I’ve done.
When Judy and I moved back to SA after 12 years in Brisbane, we found a house we really liked in Cherry Gardens, bought it and moved in, all quite quickly. This coincided with my semi-retirement after a long career in biomedical research, so for once I had a bit more time for other things. We were also both very aware of the bushfire risk in the Hills, and so when we saw a sign for an open day at the station we went along and soon after, we both signed up – me as a firefighter and Judy with communications.
I’ve never done anything like it before, and that’s actually been one of the best things about it. Learning so many new skills, new ways of looking at and doing things, and starting right from the bottom as a trainee then a ‘newbie’ have all been challenging – which is what I wanted - but so rewarding. For example, I could never have imagined 3 years ago that I’d now be learning to drive a 23-tonne fire appliance! Then there are all the technical bits – using hoses, pumps, radios, controlling traffic and so on. To deal with all this, training is well-organised, thorough and importantly, new members are well-supervised and never pushed beyond their limits.
Just as important for me is the feeling of being part of a team when we’re working – on real call-outs or even at training. Equally rewarding is the feeling that I’m contributing in a small way to the community I live in. The CFS, as readers of this page will know, doesn’t deal only with fires, but also with traffic accidents, fallen trees, and occasional odd events like stray cattle wandering along Cherry Gardens Road. That feeling’s been amplified by the amazing sense of community within the Brigade. Judy and I both feel now that we’re really part of our Cherry Gardens community, in fact much more so than in any of the (many) other places we’ve lived. The Brigade membership is very diverse, with people from many different walks of life and points of view, and with an equally broad range of ages from late teens to 70-plus. Despite this, when we work together, and even socially, these differences almost completely disappear, which is quite remarkable if you think about it. And just getting to know such a diverse group is interesting and stimulating in itself.
So, if anyone asks me if I’m glad I joined, or if I’d recommend joining either as a firefighter or a communications operator, my answer is a resounding “yes” to both.
We train every Monday night for those who may be interested in what we do.
To report suspicious behaviour call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. For all other emergencies dial 000 and ask for “Adelaide, Fire” “South Australia”