Hope restored at the Katamatite fire station

By Morgan Dyer

Katamatite CFA captain John Parnell has gratefully accepted more than $2200 in donations from the community just weeks after thieves ransacked the fire station, stole expensive lifesaving equipment and caused damage costing hundreds of dollars to repair.

The large sum came from two separate donations: from former Katamatite local Joy Ford and from Cobram Oasis Villages Social Club.

Mr Parnell said the significant contributions were greatly appreciated.

“This money will go towards updating the security systems at the station and replacing the vital equipment that was stolen,” Mr Parnell said.

“Myself and the rest of the club's members are really overwhelmed by the community's generosity.

“The amount that has come in and the size of the donations that have come in has taken us by surprise,” he said.

Ms Ford decided to donate $1000 after witnessing the heartbreak of the community following the break-in at the fire station.

“Australia has been devastated by fires this year,” Ms Ford said.

“What firefighters do is just incredible. Honestly, we would be lost without them.”

Oasis Village Social Club handed over a cheque for more than $1200 in a bid to get the station back on its feet.

Social club president Liza Wilson said the club's annual Australia Day breakfast and raffle draw significantly contributed to the donation.

“We decided it would be great to give the money raised this year to the devastated station,” Ms Wilson said.

“I know the Katamatite CFA support the Cobram CFA in times of need, so we know this will go towards supporting everyone in the wider community.”

Friday's donations add to nearly a dozen others received by Katamatite CFA from the wider community, including from Shepparton and Tatura, following the break-in at the station on December 31, 2019.