“I was born in Adelaide but grew up on a farm just outside of Mount Gambier. I never had in interest in firefighting until my little brother decided many years ago that he wanted to join the CFS; he asked me to go along with him. I was 17 when I joined and then it became my career as well.
I have done 22 years volunteering with CFS and just finished a 21-year career with National Parks. I have deployed in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and all over South Australia. One of my roles is as a fire behaviour analyst utilising weather and fuel data to predict fire, but still do enjoy my time firefighting on the ground and am now a member of Western Districts CFS.
I was here for the ’07 KI fires, and part of the devastating ‘19/20 fire event.
That was definitely one of the biggest and the most unpredictable fire events I’d ever seen and the longest duration as well.
I was out until it was declared safe around mid-February. You look back now and you just wonder how we even did it. I don’t even know. Very minimal sleep, some nights we were getting in at 11 and back out by 5 or 6 in the morning but you’re sustaining that for weeks on end.
I worry about the rest of the island. We had a decent amount of spring rain on the Dudley, even more so than the west, it is long unburned and more highly populated than the far western end. It does make me nervous.
People keep writing off that the West end is burned but you still have potential for grassfires. It’ll still run in the paddocks even though you don’t have scrub. I don’t think we can write off Kangaroo Island all together. We got summer coming and we need to once again come together as a community.
Either on a CFS truck or a farm fire unit, I’m gonna be out there somewhere.”