Bank generates support for firies

A $1789.10 donation by Pambula and District Community Bank to the Bega Valley Remote Area Firefighting Team (RAFT) will help the team of specially trained volunteer firefighters to stay in touch.

The funds have been used to buy a generator to power up radios.

Garry Cooper, Far South Coast RAFT coordinator, said the donation was critical to the work the team does.

“Without communications in the field we can’t contact people and they don’t know whether we’re safe or not. It’s a crucial piece of equipment,” he said on Saturday at the cheque handover.

“We really appreciate what the Bendigo Bank has done for the team. It’s hard for us because we’re not an individual brigade and don’t have the ability to raise funds. This goes a long way towards keeping the team going,” Mr Copper said.

The Remote Area Fire Fighting Team includes members from RFS units all over the Bega Valley. They are Nic Cooper from Merimbula RFS, Jim Everbach from Wolumla RFS, Bec Turner from Tathra RFS, Paddy and Rick Jennings from Candelo RFS, Garry Cooper from Angledale RFS, Mark Ayliffe and Jesse Hardy from Cobargo, Peter Reynolds from Pambula RFS, Lindsay and Brock Scullin from Bega RFS, Simon Bateman from Numbugga and Patrick Waddell from Bermagui RFS.

The NSW Government committed to establishing RAFT and Rapid Aerial Response Teams (RART) teams across the state in the wake of the 2010 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Final Report.

The Rural Fire Service has a long and proud history of remote area fire fighting where potentially devastating bush fires, burning in remote areas, are brought under control by a small number of specially-trained volunteer fire fighters.

RAFT members are highly trained in mapping, navigating in day and night environments, using chainsaws, blowers and McLeod tools and are specialists in dry fire fighting.

They cut helicopter landing pads, mop-up and patrol fire edges, establish containment lines and set up remote area communications.

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