Downside Rural Fire Brigade welcomes new station

FUN DAY: Bella Nejman, 8, Jackson Nejman, 12, and Amelia Nejman, 6, enjoy the family fun day at the opening of Downside fire station. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
FUN DAY: Bella Nejman, 8, Jackson Nejman, 12, and Amelia Nejman, 6, enjoy the family fun day at the opening of Downside fire station. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

A small community north of Wagga has welcomed a new addition.

A new era began for the Downside Rural Fire Brigade on Sunday as a new fire station opened.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Chief Superintendent Ken Hall officially declared their new station open.

“The brigade is understandably thrilled that they now have space to comfortably move around in their new station which boasts two bays to house the brigades fire tankers,” Supt Hall said.

“Members of this brigade still protect their community from bushfire as well as a diverse array of incidents, including grass and house fires.

“These men and women remain on-hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we should be extremely proud and grateful for their contribution.

Supt Hall thanked Wagga council for providing money towards seeing the station being built.

The Downside Brigade continued the day’s celebration by providing guests with a family fun day including face painting, jumping castle, barbecue lunch and fire education resources and activities such as the “smokehouse”, which aims to develop an understanding of the dangers of smoke in a fire and the concept of “get down low and go go go”.

Volunteers acknowledged

Longstanding volunteers from five brigades within Group Seven in the Wagga district have been acknowledged for their commitment by NSW RFS Chief Superintendent Ken Hall.

Supt Hall said the brigades in the area respond to a range of bush, grass and house fires as well as motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies each year, and he presented each of the volunteers with long service medals for their ongoing dedication.

“Each and every one of the volunteers here is worthy of our most sincere thanks and I would like to personally commend them, not only for their commitment to the service, but also to their community,” Supt Hall said.

He said between them the 28 volunteers presented with medals had managed to accumulate 1030 years of service between them.

“I would like to make particular mention of Pat Mason and Bill Gestier who have been valued members of the service for 64 and 71 years respectively.”

Supt Hall said the NSW RFS is at the cutting edge of bushfire fighting due to significant improvements in technology, however, the real strength of the service lies in its people.

“All of the volunteers here have demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to their community over the years and these medals are just a small token of our appreciation.”

Honour list

Name                                 Primary Brigade  Years Of Service

Grant Pollack                     Oura                    17

Brett Christmass                Euberta               18

Lesley Lemon                    Oura                    18

Michael Graham                Downside            19

Ron Wood                         Oura                    19

Ryan Dennis                     Downside             20

Jim Mellor                         Downside              21

Rodney Taylor                  Downside              21

David Meiklejohn              Downside              22

David Thomson                Downside              23

Rooney Galloway             Euberta                  28

Ian Viski                           Downside               28

Allan Hartwig                    Euberta                  33

Arthur Warrell                  Downside                33

Donald Boadle                Euberta                    35

Kerry Anderson               Euberta                   37

Paul Gaynor                   Downside                39

George Armytage           Euberta                   43

Bruce Rapley                  Downside               47

John Rapley                    Downside              47

Bruce Mathew                 Downside              50

John Francis                   Downside              52

Maxwell Chamberlain     Downside               53

Jim Dennis                      Downside               55

Keith Ceely                     Euberta                  57

Frederick Leggett           Euberta                  59

Pat Mason                       Tooyal                  64

William Gestier                The Gap               71

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