Fire Brigade continue to fundraise for upgrade

Brigade prepare: The Junior Fire Brigade team alongside coach Brian Willoughby at their track training hard for the March State Championships. Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Brigade prepare: The Junior Fire Brigade team alongside coach Brian Willoughby at their track training hard for the March State Championships. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Renovations are underway at the Esperance Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service’s training facility, as they prepare to host the State Open Volunteer Fire Brigade Championships for the first time in more than 20 years.

Any little bit helps and you are supporting our kids, who are going to be your firefighters protecting your town, property and life in years to come.

Coach Brian Willoughby.

Coach Brian Willoughby said painting had been completed over the weekend, February 9 and 10, and electrical works would be undertaken this week.

The upgrade has set the club back $30,000 – with team members having raised $20,000 through their own fundraising efforts.

However, Mr Willoughby said the club would need a further $10,000 to ensure the current facility is up to standard before they host up to 15 teams from across the state and 300 people attend the competition.

“We are probably one of the most isolated of the brigades so it’s fairly awkward for a lot of the brigades, like Kununurra, to get down to here,” he said.

“They’ve all guaranteed they’ll come so we’re expecting 10-15 teams, each comprising of around 12-15 runners, and we reckon up to 250-300 people will turn up once you count coaches, spectators and family, too.

“We’ve got sponsorship from Southern Ports Authority, so it’ll be the Southern Ports Authority State Open Championships, which is great and we’re really pleased with them having given us that kind of sponsorship.

“What we’ve have to do with our building is extend the top ends of it, the east and west ends of the building, so that we can upgrade our electric timing to cater for the new technology we have to have now.

“These kids, aged 10 to 16, have raised $20,000 already in their own fundraising efforts.

“We’re about one half done but we still require some more materials.

“Now, we’re chasing around the businesses, houses and local residents to get the remaining sponsorship.

“Anyone that feels obliged to give away a few dollars we’ll take it from them quite gladly.

“Any little bit helps and you are supporting our kids, who are going to be your firefighters protecting your town, property and life in years to come.”

Mr Willoughby said he had fond memories of the last state championships the club held back in 1996, with the bitchumen still wet when they finished it on the Thursday before the Saturday run.

Mr Willoughby extended thanks to the Esperance Football Club for their support, after offering to open their clubrooms and cater for the social nights on the Saturday and Sunday.

The Esperance Junior Fire Brigade will travel to Southern Cross this week to participate in the Goldfields competition, coming up against teams from Kambalda, Coolgardie, North Kalgoorlie and South Kalgoorlie.

To make a donation, or to find out more, contact Esperance Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service via www.facebook.com/evfrs/