THE Jandakot Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade will mark 50 years of history at a celebratory event over the weekend.
Former volunteers, current members and guests will pack the Success Regional Sporting Facility on Saturday night to relive “war stories” and its significant development over the last five decades.
Second Lieutenant Gavin McDiarmid said it was a great opportunity to take stock of all the brigade’s achievements.
“To reach 50 years is a huge accomplishment for the brigade,” he said.
“Jandakot is a real asset for the City of Cockburn as well as surrounding areas and regional WA.”
He said one of the brigade’s greatest triumphs was containing the Banjup fire which threatened hundreds of homes in Cockburn’s southeast in 2014.
Brigade members worked around the clock, with its headquarters used as a control point to manage the fire.
Away from the battleground, the brigade has had to fight off attempts to have it closed or moved from its Liddelow Road base in Banjup.
“Fortunately for the residents of the local area, that battle was won due to there being no reticulated water in parts of our gazetted area and turn out times to fire incidents needing to be impeccable,” 2nd Lt McDiarmid said.
“For this reason, Jandakot holds one of the most important fire fighting appliances being the bulk water tanker holding 12,000 litres of water for bulk water supply.”
The brigade began with a handful of locals co-ordinated by Captain Denis de Young in 1967.
Among its fledgling brigade’s resources was a trailer with water tubs, wheat bags and knapsacks.
“The Brigade has changed over 50 years and evolved in many ways for the better,” 2nd Lt McDiarmid said.
“It has gone from wheat bags and rake hoes to bulk water tankers and very mobile light tankers to suppress fires.
“It has upgraded from street directories to GPS Navigators and from pagers to smart phone apps.
“The Brigade has gone from basic PPE to now having full specialised turn out gear.
“Fire Trucks are now fitted with full GPS location devices, fire blankets and full crew protection deluge systems.”
The brigade has 60 active fire fighters and attends about 60 fires each year as far south as Esperance and as far north as the Kimberley.