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Source: www.news.cfa.vic.gov.au

CFA Int Day of Friendship

CFA Int Day of Friendship

Source: www.news.cfa.vic.gov.au

Volunteers celebrating International Day of Friendship

Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers across Victoria are today reflecting on the close bonds they’ve formed as brigade members to celebrate International Day of Friendship.

Deputy Chief Officer and Executive Director Volunteers & Capability Peter O’Keefe said the International Day of Friendship offered a great opportunity for all Victorians to reflect on a difficult year of bushfires and a worldwide pandemic and the important relationships that help us all get through challenging times.

“In CFA, there are so many different people from different walks of life but we all come together through the one mission – to protect life and property,” he said.

“We do that through our shared strengths in fire safety, the volunteering spirit and community connectedness."

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One of the local volunteers featured is 3rd Lieutenant of the Woorinen South Fire Brigade Brad Morpeth.

In August 2016, Brad’s family experienced a house fire which left everything destroyed, but the camaraderie of the CFA crews on scene and the support brigades showed his family after the fire piqued his interest in joining.

“After the fire the brigade stayed in touch with us and firefighters often came around to check in on our kids which meant a lot to us,” Brad said.

“Once our family recovered I made the decision to join the CFA and I regret not having done so sooner.

“I went into CFA hoping to give back to the community and essentially found a second family in the process.

Brad said volunteering with CFA has been unlike meeting people through any other community group.

“I’m able to share unique experiences with these people that I wouldn’t be able to share with anyone else. For example, during a major grass fire our former Captain and I found ourselves in a high-pressure situation and were able to stop the fire one metre from a home,” he said.

“Only the two of us were there at the time and that’s a memory I now share with him and they’re the things you can talk about in the years ahead.

Woorinen South members have managed to stay in touch with each other despite the coronavirus restrictions in place, using social media and frequent calls.

“It has been tough not being able to see everyone once a week but we’ve all managed as well as we can,” Brad said. “It has just been about giving everyone a call and having a chat to make sure they’re doing okay and we remain connected.”

Brad encouraged anyone considering joining to do so.

“I’d encourage anyone who has thought about it to give it a go, it’s so rewarding," he said.

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