The future of the region’s fire safety is in safe hands with the introduction of a junior volunteer fire brigade in Cobram.
Volunteers, aged 11 to 15, have been learning about fire safety and the role of a firefighter for more than two months, after the group was started earlier this year by Cobram Fire Brigade.
‘‘I wanted to do something to be involved in the community,’’ Cadence Pang, 11, said.
‘‘We’ve been learning about all the trucks, the hoses and firefighters’ equipment, fire safety plans, radios and communication and other necessary things for firefighters.’’
Cadence said she was enjoying learning about being a volunteer and was maybe considering joining the brigade as a senior volunteer after she turned 16.
Once juniors turn 16 and have completed their minimum skills, they’re eligible to join the senior volunteer ranks and turn out to fires and other incidents.
‘‘I love learning about the trucks and the equipment and it’s fantastic to see how it all works, how they fight the fires and what it takes to be prepared,’’ Cadence said.
Fellow junior development brigade member Lyam Roberts, 14, said he had enjoyed learning about lots of different aspects of the fire brigade.
‘‘We’ve been going through the trucks and learning about the equipment, and they’ve been teaching us about the radios and safety, and what you should do if there’s a fire in your house,’’ Lyam said.
It’s not just about serious safety though, the group has regular games sessions and the odd movie night or two.
Lyam and Cadence said they would encourage other young people to join the junior brigade in future.
‘‘It’s really fun and you get to meet a lot of new people,’’ Cadence said.
‘‘I think people should definitely join, it’s a great experience,’’ Lyam said.
The junior leader team is also hoping to train and develop young volunteers as part of a junior running team, to compete in the CFA’s running championships.
One of the junior brigade’s leaders, Evan Maidment, said they were really pleased with the numbers, with more than 20 children signing up.
‘‘They’re really going well, and they’re learning a lot of new skills that they will need if they ever have to fight a fire or if they join the volunteer brigade,’’ Mr Maidment said.