May 8, 2017
Tablelands Rural Fire Brigade officially opened their new shed on Saturday afternoon … roughly five and a half years after it was built.
And Glencoe Rural Fire Brigade took possession of a new $150,000 fire truck to replace their old one, which had reached the end of its working life after 21 years’ service to the Durong area.
The dual celebration drew more than 60 people to Tablelands Rural Fire Brigade’s shed, including volunteers from half a dozen other South Burnett rural fire brigades, Murgon town fire brigade, Rural Fire Service officials and Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff.
Tablelands explained the reason for the long delay in officially opening their shed was that they’d only recently finished adding an amenities block to it.
Since 2012, their large metal shed had been used to house Tablelands’ two fire fighting units and assorted equipment.
But until recently, the brigade’s volunteer firefighters had to fall back on their own ingenuity – or Tablelands Hall next door – if they wanted to brew a cuppa or answer a call of nature.
They also explained that Tablelands and its neighbour Cloyna are probably the two youngest Rural Fire Brigades in the South Burnett.
This was because prior to the 2008 council amalgamations, the former Murgon Shire was one of the few shires in Queensland that didn’t have any rural fire brigades.
Instead – because of its relatively small size – all fires were handled by the Murgon Town Brigade.
It was only after amalgamation the need to create some Rural Fire Brigades for the Murgon district was recognised. And originally three were planned.
But when a proposed Redgate branch failed to launch successfully, Tablelands was given that brigade’s territory and now covers an area that stretches from Boat Mountain to Manyung, Redgate and Moffatdale, while Cloyna covers the balance.
Kim Montgomery, from Glencoe Rural Fire Brigade, told visitors her own brigade’s biggest problem was communications – or rather, the lack of them.
Kim said telecommunications in the Durong area were so bad they could put volunteers’ lives at risk in firefighting situations, and this had been a bane for years.
So when the brigade heard it was getting a new fire truck, they successfully applied for a grant to buy a $3000 satellite phone to go with it.
It now has pride of place on the new firefighting unit’s dashboard, meaning Glencoe’s volunteers can be in touch with fellow firies and other emergency services wherever they’re working.
Cr Duff told the crowd she was very impressed with Glencoe’s new vehicle.
In addition to the satellite phone, it carried all the latest advances in fire-fighting technology and had drawn admiration from everyone who looked over it that day.
But she was just as impressed with Tablelands’ new amenities block, and encouraged everyone to take a look over that, too.
“Honestly, it’s so big I think we could hold a ball in there,” Cr Duff said.
After the speeches, a shed plaque unveiling and a key handover ceremony, guests adjourned next door to Tablelands Hall for an afternoon tea.