A chance to give back

Kalamunda Volunteer Bushfire Brigade Deputy Captain Mike Lennon
Kalamunda Volunteer Bushfire Brigade Deputy Captain Mike Lennon

The Kalamunda Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade deputy captain is on call at all hours of the day, selflessly giving up his spare time voluntarily to face blistering flames in the summer heat.

Ask him why he risks his life and he gives a typically humble response.

‘I just think it is a great opportunity to give back to the community,’ he said.

Mr Lennon, who has lived in the Perth Hills for most of his life, said facing danger each week in the fire season was part of the job.

However, he and his team are well prepared for it.

‘Throughout the years, I have enjoyed several roles in the brigade such as secretary, crew leader, lieutenant and now, as deputy captain, I run the brigade when captain Fiona Tas is not available,’ he said.

‘The longer you stay in the brigade, the more opportunity you have to build your skills.’

Mr Lennon said fighting fires is inherently dangerous and crews were ‘trained up’ extensively.

‘We look after each other,’ he said.

Mr Lennon said the crew was often called out to help fight fires in other shires, including this month’s Bullsbrook blazes. ‘Our crew went out to Avon Valley and Bullsbrook to help fight the fires,’ he said.

The 85-strong brigade had its latest recruitment drive last month and will begin training its newest 20 members.