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Firefighters respond to a call for help from the Riding for the Disabled Association (NSW) in Somersby

Published: 15th October 2007

Firefighters from the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) and NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) today responded to a call for help from the Riding for the Disabled Association (NSW) in Somersby.   

Firefighters from Gosford and Kariong fire stations worked with the RFS to reduce bush fire risks at the Somersby property by clearing trees that had blown over during the storms on the Queen’s Birthday June long weekend.

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Zone Commander Superintendent Keith King said the role of firefighters was not just about putting out fires.

"Firefighters are trained and prepared for all types of emergencies from building and grass fires to rescuing people from car wrecks, dealing with chemical spills to working with the RFS during bushfires and the SES with storm recovery," Superintendent King said.

"Firefighters play an active role in the community delivering community safety messages to help people prepare for possible fire emergencies and most importantly how to prevent them."


Superintendent King said the focus this month was the bushfire season and simple steps people could take to prepare for bushfires.


"Residents need to remove garden waste like leaves and twigs from around the home as well as clean out any leaves from gutters, roofs and downpipes. Homes should have metal leaf guards on gutters and wire mesh screens on roof voids to prevent embers from igniting inside the gutters and roof.


It is also important to ensure your garden hose is long enough to reach the perimeter boundary, any fire hydrants near your home are not obstructed and that any overhanging trees and bushes have been cut back."


The bushfire season has officially started and firefighters are also raising awareness about the dangers of bushfires and the importance of preparation and prevention.


NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Superintendent Steve Marsh said residents needed to have a bushfire survival plan in place that addressed whether they would stay and defend their property or evacuate to a safe location.


"Flying embers are the major causes of house fires during bushfires. Just this month, a number of homes were at risk during the bushfires in the Wyrrabalong National Park in Bateau Bay but firefighters worked hard to bring the blaze under control in the hot, dry, windy conditions.

 

"Unfortunately we can’t do anything about the weather conditions but we can help people prepare themselves and their homes for bushfires," Superintendent Steve Marsh said.


For further information visit your local NSWFB or RFS fire station or downloaded information from the NSWFB website at www.fire.nsw.gov.au or RFS website at www.bushfire.nsw.gov.au.