19th November 2018
The Principal Officer, Warren Tucker (below), welcomed us and gave us a rundown on the station’s activities and management. The Devonport Volunteer Fire Brigade has been operating since 1885 and is one of the oldest in the country.
The Fire Station visit was an informative and fun night and some of us got to squirt hoses while others indulged in their love of uniforms.
As the name indicates the station is a volunteer one with about 18 volunteers and a small career (aka professional) staff who provide four-person coverage 24/7, working two shifts. They are the ones who sleep upstairs above the station. The volunteers are all local as dictated by a 3 minute reporting time to respond to a call-out. The volunteer team have one fire truck and the career crew have the other – theirs is newer.
There is no age limit on volunteers, but the 25kg of safety gear and breathing apparatus plus the need to carry 20kg of hose into a fire situation may deter some candidates. And as a further deterrence, if a meth lab callout is attended to, the firefighters have to have a 10-minute cold water shower immediately on exiting the premises, followed by further decontamination.