About The Wamboin Brigade
- Brigade Operations
- Brigade Life
- Brigade Involvement
- Training & Equipment
- Community Spirit
- Community Education
The Wamboin Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade like most other NSW Rural Fire Service brigades, exists as both a Constitutional and as an Operation entity. Operationally the brigade currently has eight Field Officers (Captain, Senior Deputy Captain, and Six Deputy Captains), on average about 50 active fire fighting members, and 10 support crew members. Constitutionally the brigade has eight "Office Bearers", that provide essential adminstrative support for fire brigade operations. Details can be found on our Brigade Structure page.
The Brigade is fortunate to have a number of fire fighting appliances (two Category 1 & two Category 7 tankers, one Category 9 tanker, a PC and Quickfill), as well a Fireshed to house them.
The Wamboin Brigade is 1 of 22 brigades that make up the NSW Rural Fire Service's Lake George Zone. Each brigade exists to protect local areas, but they also work together as a larger team during incidents, emergencies, training, and combined zone deployments. A number of Wamboin Brigade members also directly support the operations of the Lake George Zone itself. Brigade members can be called on to attend major fire incidents anywhere in New South Wales. Interstate assistance is also given, especially to the ACT (which is in close proximity). The Wamboin Brigade also assist the Zone as a whole to reduce the risks associated with Bush Fires, by participating in hazard Reduction Exercises across our region.
The brigade is on call at all times of the day, every day of the year. Bush fires, motor vehicle accidents, house fires, assisting the SES and other emergency organisations. The brigade relies on members of our community to give their time to become members of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS). It is understood and accepted that the time members can put into brigade activities has to be balanced with their commitments to families and employment. Apart from attending incidents, RFS courses, community education, and other special events, brigade members can attend up to 3 training sessions each month to ensure that individual skills, and the effectiveness of the brigade are maintained.
There are many ways members help the brigade. As well battling heat and smoke whilst actively fighting fires, members can also provide vital assistance with the communication and radio systems, maintain brigade equipment, organise crucial catering services, help with community education, assist brigade administration, and participate in essential fundraising activities. The level of involvment is a choice that each member makes. While it is true that brigade members play arole in the brigade, it is also true that their family and friends, and other members of the community also assist the brigade. An example that occurs annually is the picking of local grapes by friends and family, alongside registered brigade members, as a funds raising exercise. The brigade is always especially thankful for this extra support that the general community provides.
Training & Equipment
Most, if not all members have had little experience fighting fires before joining the brigade. The RFS provides many comprehensive training programs to make sure members have the necessary skills to handle all aspects of operational work safely. As well as providing training to increase competency levels, the RFS provides the opportunity to gain experience in different situation, at both the brigade & Zone levels, to maintain and hone skills. These skills also come in handy at home and in our own backyards. They include the operation of pumps, first aid, communications, truck and offroad driving, chain saw operation, teamwork.
The RFS provides all the necessary basic personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to fight fires, such as protective clothing, helmets, boots, gloves, goggles, protective hoods and masks. Most brigade members also choose to purchase extra equipment, using their own resources, to enhance their operational capabilities (such as UHF handheld radios, kit bags, compasses, etc).
There is a high level of camaraderie combined with an unparalleled sense of community spirit within the RFS. Working side by side with other volunteers during emergency incidents fosters life-long friendships. Most of all, you help make your community a safer place and in doing so, you experience a sense of pride from the support and appreciation from the people in your community.
Becoming a member of the Wamboin Brigade (or any other brigade), also means accepting the mantle of responsibility for the safety of the local community, and the protection of property. Each brigade member gratiously accept level of trust bestowed by the general public, with the knowledge that trust is not spontaneous or guaranteed, it needs to be earned. Each member gives a commitment to ensures that their individual actions, and the actions of the brigade, are consistent with providing the most professional service possbile to the community.
Fire awareness is very important for anyone living in a rural area. The Wamboin Brigade provides regular information sessions for the local community to inform and advise local residents and the general community about how to reduce risks, to avoid dangers, and how to best respond during an emergency. The brigade undertakes this work with the support of material produced by the RFS, as well as the conveyence of local knowledge & experience. The nature of commuity engagement is broad and includes (but not limited to); street meetings, information sessions, property visits, providing individual advice, and providing access to information online (see the Community Advice pages).
Apart from direct involvement with the community (at mentioned above), the brigade also provides fire weather warning advisories, both on this website and on local signs in our region, as well as seasonal and information advisories and pamplets mailed to local residents. Each month the brigade also publishes an article in the "Whisper", (called "The Wamboin Firefighter) to convey what the brigade has been undertaking operationally, as well as yet another way to convey important advice to residents about how to reduce their risks, in the case of fire or other emergencies.