Fire unit prepared
By LUIS FELIU
THE South Tweed community is now more prepared for the threat of bushfires, thanks to members of a new Community Fire Unit (CFU) who have just completed their training.
NSW Emergency Services Minister Tony Kelly and Tweed MP Neville Newell visited the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre in South Tweed Heads, where they congratulated 15 members of the new Kirkwood Road CFU on the commissioning of their unit.
CFUs are made up of neighbours in high bushfire risk areas who are given NSW Fire Brigade training, protective clothing and equipment worth $15,000 so they can help firefighters during bushfires.
NSW Fire Brigade's Sydney-based acting state CFU co-ordinator Karl Duesing said the 15 members of the new unit, all employees of the Minjungbal Cultural Centre, were part of the 5,500 volunteer members in the CFU program statewide which has 300 such units.
Tweed Heads fire station officers, Mr Duesing said, had supervised training for the new CFU which was formed nearly a year ago.
The success of the program since its inception 10 years ago, he said, was "unbelievable" and had been very well received by the public.
"Their main role is preparedness prior to arrival of fire-brigade crews, they're trained not as firefighters but to support them and protect their property and assets," he said.
Team leader for the new CFU, Bradley Green, welcomed the formation of the unit which he said would help fight and prevent fires around the reserve near the museum and areas nearby.
"We've had two bushfires a year in the past five years around here, so it's a good thing and we're all now capable and keen as," Mr Green said.
Mr Kelly congratulated the "civic-minded members" of the new CFU for their responsible approach to helping their local firefighters protect their community in the event of bushfire.
Mr Newell said members had learnt how to protect their homes, especially from ember attack, hazard reduction processes and general bushfire management principles.