Imbil brigade battle for crew

IMBIL’S urban fire brigade sometimes has difficulties in recruiting enough staff to respond to emergency incidents in the local area.

Captain Iain Blain is desperate to sign up more people for the paid retained service.

He said fire crews from Gympie and Cooran were often called on to respond to assist the Imbil officers to manage emergencies.

Capt Blain said response times for the Mary Valley area would lengthen if Imbil could not maintain a local auxiliary brigade.

The station’s allocation of staff is 10 and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service at all times tries to maintain at least eight members to cover a broad area from the Dagun turn-off east to Federal, south to the Kenilworth range and west to the back of Borumba Dam.

The station is called on to attend chemical emergencies, road accidents, structure and grass fires.

The volunteer rural fire brigades in the area support the urban brigade.

However, Capt Blain said the urban fire crews received more advanced training than their rural buddies; in areas such as breathing apparatus, Hazmat management and road accident rescue, to name a few.

“We look after a huge area and the few of us left are just exhausted from being on call,” Capt Blain said.

The urban brigade began in Imbil in 1969 and has recently dwindled to just four members.

Capt Blain joined in 1991 and has worked his way up to the captain’s position.

He said membership required attendance at a two-hour training session once a week, plus any call-outs and public relation roles and community education.

“We are relying heavily on the local rural brigades and back-up from Gympie and Cooran at the moment, and I have tried very hard to get people involved, with no luck.”

Men and women are able to join the urban brigade. The job is physical and requires mental acuity, but Capt Blain said members received all the training they required to perform the job.

If you can pass a medical assessment and you have, or are able to obtain a HR licence, contact Capt Blain for more information about being an active member of your community.

You are paid for your attendance - uniforms, training and equipment are supplied

If you can assist, contact Capt Blain on 0438 845 304.