RAA Regional Safety Grant helps volunteer firefighters on the frontline

10 March, 2022

Volunteer firefighters from the Paracombe CFS Brigade in the Mount Lofty Ranges have received crucial equipment valued around $3000 this month to help them protect their community from bushfire danger.

The brigade was a successful applicant of the latest round of RAA Regional Safety Grants, which funded its purchase of a thermal imagery camera and a portable weather meter.

The brigade’s Senior Fire Fighter John McMahon said the equipment was significant boost to the unit’s firefighting capabilities.

“The Paracombe CFS Brigade is extremely appreciative of the RAA grant which has enabled the purchase of this important equipment as the combined benefit to the volunteers as well as the community is very significant,’’ he said.

Mr McMahon explained the camera improved the brigade’s ability to suppress fires more quickly and to effectively make the area safe by reducing any chance of reignitions, or flare-ups.

“It can also help in locating missing or injured and unconscious persons at night by detecting body heat,’’ Mr McMahon said.

“The huge benefits of having ready access to a thermal imagery camera were observed at the Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island Fires, which Paracombe Brigade members were extensively involved in.’’

Mr McMahon said the Kestrel portable weather meter was an important tool which firefighters used on the fire ground.

“Real-time weather observations from the fireground are critical in determining what the fire may do and where it may go, so that people in homes and assets that may be threatened can be warned as soon as possible,’’ he said.

Mr McMahon said “it was quiet an easy process’’ to apply online for the RAA Regional Safety Grant, and he encourage other CFS brigades and community groups to consider doing so.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it,’’ he said.

The next round of Regional Safety Grants will be open to applications later this year.