CFA members assist with flood efforts

Member News imageFlooding in Yallourn North

More than 200 CFA volunteers have assisted VICSES in flood recovery efforts in the first 10 days of 2024, with some members quick to assist despite having to sandbag their own homes.

SES volunteers have responded to almost 2000 calls for assistance since Sunday, with over 50 flood rescues.

Communities hardest hit include towns around Shepparton, Bendigo, Yea, Seymour, Rochester, Echuca and Murchison, with CFA volunteers and staff assisting the effort.

Goornong CFA Captain Jamie Francis was about to nap at the station at 2am on Sunday when he answered the call of a community member whose home had been inundated. The next 48 hours demonstrated the commitment of CFA brigades across the region, with many working through the next day.

“We had many people tell us they couldn’t get out of their homes. We got eight people out of four homes,” Jamie said.

“We also had to rescue a couple off the roof of their car. They were new to the area and didn’t know the roads.

“Honestly, for me, we were just helping the community. The community pitched in so much as well. We are a small brigade. I don’t know what we would have done without the community’s help” Jamie said.

Goornong has a population of 600 with 10 brigade members helping on Sunday through into Tuesday.

The Bunyip CFA brigade was also a huge help with flood efforts with volunteers able to divert over two million litres of water away from homes in low-lying areas.

Bunyip CFA Captain Jason Boler said eight homes on Riverside Ave were about to be inundated when CFA arrived.

“It’s what we do. We didn’t save the homes. We just saved water going into it. Our members are part of the community they live in and they didn’t hesitate to turn out.” Jason said.

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan thanked members for their commitment during a challenging time for Victoria.

“CFA members have been working tirelessly alongside our SES colleagues and other emergency services and members of the community,” CO Heffernan said.

“Our members won’t hesitate to help others during their time of need and I’m so thankful to them for that.”

/CFA News Release. View in full here.