Brigade welcomes new season

Teamwork: Members of the Esperance Junior Fire Brigade alongside coach Brian Willoughby. Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Teamwork: Members of the Esperance Junior Fire Brigade alongside coach Brian Willoughby. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Members of the Esperance Junior Fire Brigade have returned to the track to start training for what is shaping up to be a busy 2019/20 season.

Now in their second week, the brigade members are already training for its first competition in just over a month.

The brigade is down about half a dozen members this year, according to Brigade coach Brian Willoughby.

Though the junior competition didn't start until 1998, the brigade has maintained a competition team since the early 1960s.

The sport first originated when firemen ran to the fires with fire brigade reels and hoses and soon evolved into a competitive sport.

Mr Willoughby maintains that there are numerous benefits for members, including learning discipline, teamwork and the basics when it comes to fighting fires.

"They have to learn how to put in hydrants, how to put on hoses, squirt water - it's the foundation of a firefighter," he said.

"They learn discipline, they learn teamwork, they learn hard skills, they get to keep fit and, most importantly, they learn all of the basics when it comes to fighting fires.

"They also become members of the Western Australia Fire Brigade."

The sport requires hard work and dedication, with three training sessions per week in the lead up to the four major competitions of the year, which will see the team travel to Kalgoorlie, Perth and one in either Kellerberrin or Southern Cross.

In February next year, Mr Willoughby said the brigade was even planning to send a team to Victoria.

"We train Tuesday night, Thursday night and Sunday afternoons," he said.

"It's a big commitment.

"We've been two Victoria about five times and have done quite well over there.

"This team is certainly shaping up and have the capacity to be very, very competitive in Victoria.

"Some of these competitors have been around for some time, it's very rewarding to see."

Mr Willoughby encouraged those interested in joining the brigade, which takes members for free, to attend the training sessions on Tuesday or Thursday from 3.30pm.

"Let them have a watch and they can join us," he said.

"The beauty of this is that there is no cost to anybody.

"We supply everything, our trips away are paid for.

"The parents don't have to put their hands in their pockets."

For more information, visit the Esperance Junior Fire Brigade on Facebook.