Feeding the firefighters in Tassie
It’s official — December 2012 to February 2013 saw Hobart experience its most extreme summer conditions in recent history. On Wednesday 6 February, temperatures reached a high of 36°C with a strong NE wind. Mid-afternoon, a bushfire started at Molesworth — a small rural township just north of Hobart — and began surging towards the outer suburbs of Hobart.
By next day, the fire was worse. More emergency crews were called in, and it was obvious that an overnight relief effort would be needed. That’s when the Plymouth Brethren’s Rapid Relief Team (RRT) became involved. Two teams were organised, with a 9pm start and a changeover shift at 2am.
Molesworth Fire Station was the base. The RRT contacted local supermarkets, IGA’s, bottleshops and more to get essentials and received a fantastic contribution from the stores, much of which was donated. The initial ice, water and soft drinks were followed up by food and the team was able to provide a BBQ, serving hamburgers and sausages in bread to the Tasmania Fire Service, Police and SES crews as they returned to base from their shifts.
It was obvious that this effort was greatly appreciated — over 9kg of sausages were consumed within the first 2 hours!
As well as feeding the troops, the team assisted in as many ways as possible, organising vehicle access to supply hydrants and helping refill water trucks. The second shift worked through till 7am. The team was back again the next evening to provide more refreshments and hot food till 2am, when fire crews were finally able to get the blaze under control.
Thankfully, easing weather conditions meant the worst was over. By late Saturday afternoon, the fire was not considered to be a threat any more, fewer fire fighting crews were needed and the team could go home, knowing their work was done and had been very much appreciated.