Meet your local Rural Fire Brigade Service at the upcoming Get Ready Weekend as the Killara community prepares to build their first proper rural fire brigade station.
Anyone who lives in the broader Ku-ring-gai area will be only too familiar with the ways that both fire and floods have ravaged the landscape over the last few years. Whilst everyone hopes that these severe weather events will not happen again, we also know they are a part of Australian life. But, knowing this means we can also be prepared. Thankfully, after much petitioning by the local community, Killara is set to become the newest Rural Fire Service (RFS) Facility in NSW. We caught up with Stuart Clark AM, the president of the Killara Rural Fire Brigade to find out what this means for the community.
It’s very timely as this weekend coincides with the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Get Ready Weekend. Killara’s event will happen this Saturday the 17th of September from 9am-4pm at the East Killara Shopping Precinct on Reading Avenue. Get Ready Weekend aims to raise community awareness about the importance of being prepared ahead of the upcoming bushfire season. It’s also wonderful opportunity to meet some of the brave volunteers that make up your local brigade, and learn more about the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System.
The development application has just been approved and Stuart tells us that building is set to commence very soon. The station will be situated on Koola Avenue beside the Koola Park playing fields, making for an excellent repurposing of the old Scout Hall that burnt down years ago.
The decision to position the newest RFS in Killara was based around Ku-ring-gai being “severely under-resourced given its extensive risk profile”. Killara has been established as the best place to “plug a significant gap” in the South East end of the region. The Killara RFS was established in 2017 and currently has 48 very proud members. They join the 50-year-old Ku-ring-gai Brigade and the other brigades in the Hornsby region in protecting and supporting the local area’s natural disaster response.
Stuart is very passionate about the RFS and its role, not only in the local community but also nationwide. Killara RFS members have been deployed to operations all around the Ku-ring-gai area as well as the Blue Mountains, Hornsby, and even interstate to West Australia, and Queensland. And don’t think it’s just about firefighting – members have also played a huge role in the flood recovery efforts, both locally and in Northern NSW and are currently assisting the Department of Agriculture in fighting an outbreak of bee disease in the Hunter region.
We also asked Stuart what advice was for locals in preparing for potential summer bushfires and he gave us his top three tips:
1) Have a plan for you, your family, your possessions and your pets. “A plan to make a plan is not a plan!” This needs to be in place before the season starts
2) Install the “Fires Near Me” app on your phone so you can stay on top of any fire activity in the area
3) Clean out your gutters and around the house well before the fire season is due to commence.
We very much look forward to seeing this pivotal part of the local community thrive in its well-earned new facility.
Killara Rural Fire Brigade
26A Koola Avenue, East Killara
Get Ready Weekend https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/getready