CFA Volunteers and Legendairy milkers
The CFA is a necessary fixture in all rural communities and is almost completely manned by volunteers. As part of the patchwork of each community, dairy farmers are often called upon to fill a spot on the back of the fire truck.
Part of the succession plan in the CFA starts at an early age and Tatura Brigade is one of many nurturing the next generation of firefighters, some of whom are also the next generation of dairy workers, just like many of their peers across regional Victoria.
In an astonishing achievement, Tatura‘s junior fire brigade members recently took out the State Championship title for the fourth consecutive year.. Both the U14 and U17 Tatura teams dominated the two day event which included the U17 team breaking a 19-year record in front of a captivated crowd of 1500 spectators.
Two regulars for the Tatura team mix their fire brigade contributions with part-time work on local dairy farms.
They continued their dedication to the CFA by competing as seniors at the State Urban Seniors Championships at Bendigo over the March Labour Day long weekend. Following the juniors winning form from a few weeks earlier, the senior members dominated, successfully taking home the state title for the first time in 30 years.
Senior team member Jeremy Withall, 18, is currently completing a building apprenticeship but keeps alive his passion for working on a dairy farm by doing weekend shifts for some extra spending money.
“I love it,” he said. “I grew up on a farm and used to work full-time on a family friend’s dairy farm. After my apprenticeship I might go back to working on a dairy farm.”
Seventeen year old student Tim Wilson has been part of the Tatura CFA junior team for the past four years and milks for a family friend every weekend.
“I enjoy the challenge of the competition, especially being in the seniors eight-member team events, of which we recently broke a state record.” he said.
While uncertain of his future work plans, Tim plans to continue as a CFA volunteer and help out with milking when he can. “It’s a great feeling to give back to your community, he said.’