THE Ruby Fire Brigade was the first local brigade to open its doors as part of the CFA Open Day program to help the community prepare for the upcoming fire season.
The brigade also used the day to show that while Ruby is a small hamlet, volunteers and the community can rely on state of the art equipment usually only offered in larger centres.
New Captain Michael Guest said such equipment, sourced by his predecessor Darren Hardacre through successful funding applications, had helped in the recruitment of younger brigade members.
Ruby’s new communications system was on display on Sunday.
“Usually only the big brigades have these,” Michael said.
“It provides quick printouts of all of the information you need, including weather reports, maps, the type of incident, the nearby water points – you name it, it’s there.
“It’s great for a small brigade to have access to something like this and the younger members love the technology.”
Michael said the brigade was fortunate to have a strong band of younger volunteers.
“Often the case will be that you train them up and then they might move away to university, but they end up coming back.
“We’re lucky to have a good membership base. We have a high turnout rate as we’re often called in for back up for both the Leongatha and Korumburra brigades.”
The station is also commonly used for training purposes for local brigades.
Ex-captain Hardacre is now a training facilitator with the CFA and runs training exercises all around the state, but Ruby also hosts many of its own.
For the past couple of weeks, it has been home to a mobile training prop which has meant other brigade members have headed to Ruby for training exercises.
There are three in the state simulating domestic, commercial and vehicle incidents.
Ruby had the domestic prop which featured a TV, couch and oven, which could be set alight via a remote control.
On Sunday, community members could see the Ruby crew attack the fire as Darren explained some of the methods used in fighting a house fire.
The public also spoke to fire fighters about the upcoming fire season and how to develop a fire plan.
There were activities for kids too, with parents and children given the opportunity to put out fires using a fire extinguisher.
Little brigade leads the way