Rural Fire Service thanks Corinella volunteers for long service

The mayor, RFS dignitaries and Corinella brigade members at the opening of the fire station.
The mayor, RFS dignitaries and Corinella brigade members at the opening of the fire station.

These Rural Fire Service volunteers from Corinella have more than 300 years of experience between them.

Kevin Maguire has been an RFS volunteer for 43 years; Andrew McDonald for 42 years; Donald Ridley and Anthony Maguire 41 years each and John Ridley 39 years.

They were amongst 10 members of Corinella brigade to be presented with long service medals at the opening of the brigade’s first station last Thursday.

Others recognised were Evan Mickan 31 years; Bede Tooth 24 years; Robert Hart 23 years and Timothy Fay 12 years.

The medals were presented by Manager Region West Paul Smith, Mid Lachlan Valley Superintendent Ken Neville and Mayor Graeme Miller.

The Rural Fire Service thanked the volunteers for their hard work and efforts volunteering for their community.

The official party also last Thursday opened the brigade’s first station – a single bay, transportable station with a water tank.

Corinella Captain Kevin Maguire joined the local RFS brigade at 17, when he finished school and started working on the farm.

He’s now been the brigade captain for four years, the deputy group captain for five or six.

He says the brigade has seen plenty of changes in that time – the Cat 1 fire fighting truck they now have in their new station is a huge step forward from the Blitz he remembers from childhood.

“The truck we have now is 4WD, it can go just about anywhere, it carries 4500 litres of water as well as foam for vehicle fires on the highway,” he said.

About 15 volunteers are part of the Corinella brigade, they own or work on the farms in the area.

Their most common call-outs are to lightning strikes, they’re also on standby at stubble burn-offs and wherever the need arises.

One of the most serious fires Mr Maguire remembers in their area was in November 2006 – it burned 2200 hectares on a hot and gusty Sunday, wiping out valuable grazing land during a dry period.

“That’s the biggest fire we have had in our district for a long time,” he said.