Fired up for big birthday

Robert DoughertyBroome Advertiser

Fifty years of blaring sirens and blazing red and blue lights have been celebrated by Derby Volunteer Fire Rescue Service.

The service was inaugurated with a total of 30 members and a Bedford truck on Friday, September 29, 1967, and led by Captain Frank Reid until the next year.

John Young would take over as captain in 1968 and stay on for another 25 years. He was followed by numerous changes of the guard until current captain Warren Schofield took up the mantle in 2016.

Captain Schofield, awarded WA VFRS firefighter of the year for 2017, said he had been a member for four years and enjoyed the community involvement with volunteers regularly stepping forward from the ranks of trainee doctors and nurses.

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“Over the last 50 years, Derby vollies have been a vital part of helping the community,” he said. “All the members in town are volunteers and come from all types of jobs and professions, giving up their own time to support their community.

“Apart from emergencies, the vollies take part in Christmas events, parades and anything we can help with here in town. I’ve been a volley for over 30 years and loved every minute of it. It gets in your blood.”

Mr Schofield said there were always challenges in firefighting and rescue work, but the social side of the brigade had endured for its 20 members.

The service takes part in bush fire, road crash, structure fire and emergency management as well as attending Statewide campaigns and the annual firefighter games in Fremantle each year.

“Like all regional brigades, any incidents that happen in and out of town is the responsibility of that brigade,” he said.

“The fleet has changed and evolved into the current vehicles of today (with) a light tanker, rescue trailer and a pump.

“The brigade started in a building that the Shire helped to provide until 10 years ago (when) a new facility was built by DFES, which houses both VFRS and SES at the moment.”

For more information, the DVFS trains in Derby every Tuesday night from 6pm.

Department of Fire and Emer-gency Services Superintendent Kimberley Grant Pipe said the majority of incidents attended by DVFRS were bushfires, with a total of 1828 call-outs since 2000.

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