Where would we be without our volunteers?

With the current fires across our northern borders, it is a testing time for the people of the Hawkesbury and the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert wants to share a message of support to our dedicated Rural Fire Service volunteers.

“I have every confidence that we will prevail despite the overwhelming odds against us. The Gospers Mountain Fire is now one of the largest fires on record and is threatening homes in a number of our towns and villages,” the Mayor said.

“On behalf of the Hawkesbury community I want to pay tribute to our hardworking volunteers who have given all of their time and effort to protect both people and property. There are no words strong enough to convey the community’s gratitude to our self-sacrificing volunteers both those from the local area, from other parts of Australia and from overseas. Thank you!

“I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support and co-operation of the Hawkesbury and District Agricultural Association for willingness to work with Council and the emergency services throughout this emergency. The Showground has been opened at various times, sometimes at very short notice, to provide animal refuge facilities for the community.

“In my visits to the Rural Fire Service Control Centre at Wilberforce, I have had the chance to observe the professional manner in which the whole operation is conducted, and the great team work that is required to bring all the elements together. It is with great pride and respect that I have watched the controllers deciding on appropriate tactics when developing their cohesive and comprehensive plans.

“The size of the current fire has meant that equipment and resources have been stretched to the limit. As a result, Council has contributed resources and people to assist with the effort and stands ready to assist in any further ways that might be required.

“My visits to the Fire Control Centre at Wilberforce have also confirmed that the facility may be approaching the end of its useful life. I have therefore commenced the process of organising for negotiations between Council and the NSW Government to secure a site for a new, purpose-built headquarters that could potentially be used by other emergency services during times of crisis.

“If you have any suggestions for improvement then please write them down and present them at the de-briefing session that will take place next year, or email them to me now via council@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and I will record them for later.

“It has been heart-warming to see how our community has pulled together during these hard times. Thank you to those who are looking after their neighbours. Please keep an eye out for those who live nearby who may need some assistance.Mayor and RFS

“Please stay safe over Christmas and please follow the instructions of police, the Rural Fire Service and other emergency services. They are the experts and their instructions are designed to protect you and keep you safe.

“If people are looking for assistance you can firstly ring the Bush Fire Information Line - 1800 679 737. If it is not a fire emergency and you would like some contact numbers to have handy, you can drop in at the front desk of the Council building in Windsor and the staff will provide you with some basic information and contact numbers.

“You can also keep up to date by checking the Rural Fire Service website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or by using the Fires Near Me website and App Check the Fires Near Me webpage for current incidents www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me and download the Fires Near Me App on your mobile.”

Page ID: 141024