Community Focused Brigade Celebrates 150 Years

Member News imageBeaufort brigade celebrates 150 years

For 150 years, Beaufort Fire Brigade has been a mainstay in the community and that continues to this day.

Over the weekend, 90 brigade members and townspeople celebrated the milestone which included stories about its rich history.

Former captain Ron Brown told stories from 1996 until today. Lifetime member Jeff Torney covered beginnings to 1996 when urban and rural brigades combined.

The Beaufort Fire Brigade was started by a small group of locals who saw a need for it in 1874, back then it was a bucket brigade with no trucks.

Ron, who has been with the brigade for 39 years, said the deep history included a footy team in 1908 and 1930. Even winning a few games.

“Another proud thing about us is of all the brigades through Western Victoria, in World War I we had the greatest contingency of firefighters that went to war, including my great grandfather William Cheeseman who was one of the first to sign up,” Ron said.

“Beaufort was relying on townspeople to help with fires as so many went to war.”

Today the brigade has 29 members, 13 operational, two CFA appliances: a tanker and light pumper.

In 2020 the brigade received its new field command vehicle and it’s earmarked to obtain a new station.

Beaufort Captain Tony Neville said they just elected their first female lieutenant in the brigades 150 history – Taylah Middlemist, 25.

“It means in the future the brigade can keep moving forward and we are not going to become stagnant,” Tony said.

“Taylah has a long time ahead of her and hopefully one day if she’s up for it she can progress through the ranks, up to the ranks of captain.”

The brigade has been to every major fire over the years including Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday.

In February they experienced a fire closer to home when a bushfire started in bushland near Bayindeen.

Tony, who has been with CFA for 11 years, said members took weeks off work so they could man the trucks.

“That’s why we are there. We are a community asset. The members are there to protect the community, do what we can for it and surrounding areas we live in,” he said.

Tony said the brigade was very community based and helped with local events as much as they could.

“We are always looking for more members,” he said.

“We had a little influx after the Bayindeen fires, picked up three fire firefighters out of that and three are non-operational which is good because there is more to the CFA than just fighting fires.”

“Exciting times ahead, hopefully momentum stays as it is.”

If you’re interested in joining CFA or learning more about volunteering, visit

/CFA News Release. View in full here.