Mal Davies Reports from Bindabella Valley
Attending the opening of NSW Rural Fire Service Brindabella Valley Fire Station “new kitchen” on Saturday 24th January 2009, was an experience.
This fire station is the only public building in the valley which also functions as a community centre where local families and kids with RFS Bushfire Fighting Volunteers gathered for this day of celebrations.
After morning testing of RFS equipment, trucks and appliances, during which time the volunteer fire fighters hosed down the grass helipad outside the fire station, an extensive entourage of taxpayer funded RFS career creatures and dignitaries started to arrive.
First was Brian Parry ACT Deputy Commissioner of their rural fire service who landed in an ACT fire service Squirrel helicopter, flown by a contract pilot, the package costing around $1500 per hour.
Canberra is one hour by road from Brindabella. Parry did say they were surveying the country on fire business obviously to holt any question of costs – the pilot suggested different.
The highlight of this entrance after Mr Parry left the helipad was when the pilot offered milling kids a sit in the chopper. Clambering for pilot the first two kids mounted up along with two sheep dogs in the rear compartment where they decided to have a fight. Quickly ejected by a parent, these two mutts continued their conflict on the ground under the chopper until further dispersed.