“We don’t have fires in Germany. My brother was in the Freiwillige Feuerwehr which is equivalent to volunteer firefighting in the CFS. It’s more something you do in your youth, for fun and as a get together but not really with the intention of firefighting. They rarely get called out for fires. They go to floodings or when there is an accident and they need to cut someone free.
I had a crash course on firefighting on the 20th of December; a run through on how the unit works, how you turn on the motor and how you actually talk on the radio so people know your site. We had two hours to prepare everything; clean the gutters, hose everything down, bring everything in. Then it was on. The scariest moment was the 3rd of January; it was so vicious, so unpredictable. I thought to myself, ‘this is a bit beyond my pay rate.’
The community was pretty good during the fires. It was awesome to see people were there for you. It’s a team effort fighting fires. The most challenging thing on the farm fire unit was to be everywhere, trying to help everyone. To make the decision on where to go or if to stay, when on the other end someone else needs your help.
I hope it will be different this year; I hope everyone gets to relax a little bit and actually enjoy the beach and a barbecue.
Now, after all the rain with the long grass, fires can happen again but not as crazy this year as the 3rd. A lot of people from the eastern end of the island helped us and I think they are concerned about the remaining fuel load that didn’t burn in the last season. But one call, and we are all gonna be there. For sure.”