Bayswater Fire Brigade has dedicated their Breathing Apparatus (BA) truck to a former long-serving Captain of the brigade.
The BA truck has been named ‘Alan Waters AFSM’ who is still an active member of the brigade and has been a CFA volunteer for 52 years.
Alan was Brigade Captain for 25 years from 1974 – 1999. In the early 1990s, Alan recognised the need for brigades to have specialised trucks. This concept was new to CFA and Alan said it took a little convincing.
“Going back 25-30 years ago brigades used to have a bit of everything on their trucks so if we had a major job we needed 4 or 5 trucks to get the little bits of gear off each truck,” Alan said.
“I was the Group Officer at the time and the group suggested we start to specialise so we arranged this within the Knox Group which worked really well.
“We are lucky that in our brigade we had a lot of clever people with a range of skills such as lawyers, nurses, trades, etc. so we were able to put a strong case together for CFA to consider.
“We were successful with this which is how we purchased our first BA truck around 1995. The truck was completely funded by brigade earned money and community donations.
“The success of this BA truck was unbelievable.”
A few years ago, Bayswater received a new BA truck to replace the old one. The truck is used far and wide for many incidents across the southern half of the state.
“The BA truck allows 20-30 firefighters to continue wearing BA because they can re-fill their cylinders on scene,” Alan said.
“This truck has never failed to respond once which we’re pretty proud of. Out of all the specialist vehicles, this one is one of the most useful and most used across the state.”
Bayswater Fire Brigade kept the naming of the BA truck a secret which was a huge surprise to Alan when he turned up to what he thought was a regular brigade meeting last month.
“When I saw the truck and parts of my family there I suddenly thought hang on what’s going on here,” Alan said.
“I feel very chuffed – I was honestly stuck for words.”
CFA congratulates Alan on this well-deserved recognition and is proud of his ongoing commitment and dedication to CFA and the Victorian community.