Firefighting team strong enough to go it alone

April 05, 2018

Glenrowan Fire Brigade volunteers Liam keane, Jeremy Rice, Greg Keane, Brendan Smith, Jess Rice and Kallan Hortan.

Glenrowan Fire Brigade volunteers have been protecting the community since 1945; now the brigade is finally going it alone to compete in statewide championships.

For the past few years several Glenrowan volunteers have been running with Eldorado in the annual Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) state rural championships

This year Glenrowan will compete for the first time as a stand-alone team on April 7 and 8 in Warrnambool.

‘‘We’ve got more young people interested so we decided with Eldorado’s blessing to form our own team,’’ captain and self-confessed oldest team member Greg Keane said.

While still under direction from Eldorado coaches and training together, Greg expects there will be some ‘‘friendly rivalry’’ on the track.

The team ranges from 16 to 53 years, with Greg being the senior member.

‘‘I’ve run for Eldorado for the past three years; I went as a parent and got roped in and haven’t missed a meeting since,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t do any event that requires super speed.

‘‘Doing it with my children is a bonus, if you’ve never played sport with your kids you don’t know how beneficial it is for your wellbeing.’’

Both children are now trained and active volunteer members of the brigade, following Greg’s 28 years of service.

This year Glenrowan will have six competitors in a senior team, and hopes to fill a junior team next year.

‘‘The scouts and cubs have folded, so this is a good thing for kids and it can lead to them training to become CFA volunteers,’’ Greg said.

The brigade has strong volunteer numbers, with three recent recruits completing their minimum skills wildfire training and new members expected to sign up in the coming weeks.

There are about 15 active firefighting volunteers responding to about 50 incidents a year.

‘‘We mainly go to grass and scrub fires, motor vehicle accidents and support our neighbouring brigades in whatever needs to be done,” Greg said.

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