Badger Creek Builds Brigade Membership

Member News imageBadger’s Creek Olivia Frith and Captain Mike Thomas

Over the last few years, Badger Creek Fire Brigade has successfully built its ranks from four to more than 20 firefighters with the hope they can continue to grow.

One of the brigade’s latest recruits is a motor mechanic in the making and looks forward to utilising her skills in her new role as a volunteer firefighter.

Olivia Frith completed CFA’s General Firefighter (GFF) course only a month ago and has already started responding to incidents. She says CFA has been in her blood for a while.

“Mum and Dad would go to a callout, they would come home and tell us about the call and I found it really interesting,” Olivia said.

“They would say how the brigade felt like a family to them and the amount of support they got from everyone in the brigade.”

Olivia is three years into her motor mechanic apprenticeship which she says will help her in both her role as a firefighter and a mechanic.

“I can point out dangerous situations before they happen, especially if chemicals are involved, and will be able to help if I see something out of place with a vehicle,” she said.

Olivia said joining CFA was a straightforward process which was mostly done online.

“The GFF course was really good, the assessors were really knowledgeable and they helped us through the whole way,” Olivia said.

“I’ve learnt teambuilding skills, leadership skills, using the hoses and the pumps, and training in general to work as a team, be there for each other – have each other’s backs.

“There’s a lot that can be learnt, you never stop learning. I definitely want to get into more courses to improve my skills.

“I also aspire to do leadership roles in the future. CFA really is a big family, everyone I have met so far has been an inspiration.”

Badger Creek Captain Mike Thomas has been a CFA volunteer for 41 years, three of those years as Captain.

Mike said over time members come and go which is not unusual, they leave the area or they move onto other things.

“Covid put a lot of stress onto people and it did what I call breaking the habit,” Mike said.

“Once things went back to normal, we found a lot weren’t keen to come back.

“We were thin on numbers and struggled to get a truck out the door. We put the word out through various methods such as social media, and we sent out emails to past members and implored them to come back.

“We’ve been slowly building it back up, we were down to six members and now we have more than 20 members we can rely on which is great.”

Badger Creek is a semi-rural area with mixed infrastructure in their area to look after including Healesville Sanctuary, schools, residential and caravan parks. They are the neighbouring brigade to Healesville and often co-respond to incidents.

Mike said their brigade pride themselves in being inclusive.

“One of the first female Captains in CFA came from this station so we’re pretty proud of that,” Mike said.

“We’ve always included anybody, once they turn up here they’re firefighters.”

“I’m very proud of my brigade, I’ve seen ups and downs but I’m very proud of where we’ve come to now. And I’m especially proud of our people, and it’s all about the people.”

CFA is celebrating and thanking all of its members this week as part of Volunteer Week.

There’s a role for everyone at CFA – so ‘Give Us a Hand’ and express your interest at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer.

/CFA News Release. View in full here.