Moe RRT supports firefighters at Westbury

On Friday 17th January, after four days in a row of temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius, a bush fire started about 4 minutes from Moe, in the Gippsland region of Victoria. Unpredictable winds, and the proximity of the fire to the main power lines supplying most of Melbourne, made this fire a real danger.

RRT members prepare to take the drinks trailer out to Westbury

CFA strike teams came from afar to relieve the local crews. Keen to offer assistance, the Moe Rapid Relief Team got in contact with the CFA. Their response was very positive. With the permission of the CFA incident controller, The RRT provided two refrigerated trailers of ice and water bottles, as well as a variety of other supplies, and set up refreshments tables at the Westbury fire station, which was the staging ground for the Westbury firefighting teams. Meals were also taken to the firefighters leaving the Moe station to start their shift.

The CFA chief was very friendly and great to work with

On request from the CFA incident controller, The RRT supplied meals to those on the front line of the fire that couldn’t leave their position. It was rather eerie at night with dozens of fire trucks with lights flashing!

Plymouth Brethren Rapid relief team

At the fire front the CFA trucks stationed around the live plot of bush where the fire is still lurking

The Moe RRT was very keen to support the CFA who were giving up their time and in many cases, risking their lives and safety to protect us. We were very encouraged by the positive response we received from CFA leaders, firefighters and other emergency services.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief TEam

RRT members serve food and drinks to the CFA crews at the firefront

The wind that night was expected to rise and change direction, so about 30 fire trucks were stationed around the section of bush where the fire had been contained. However, only an occasional gust or two that raised a few sparks and embers, sometimes starting small spot fires that the firefighters quickly put out. By morning, the fire had mostly burned itself out and over a hundred tired firefighters gathered at the Westbury station for breakfast.

RRT member distributing Gatorade among the crews – Gatorade was VERY popular!

RRT Members went around all their trucks and cleaned dusty windows. One firefighter commented, “I feel spoilt with one RRT member cleaning my windows and another cleaning the rubbish out of my cab!” Also provided by the RRT was insect repellent, coffee, water, Gatorade, chips, and fresh fruit. Was there anything else they needed? “What about an iPhone charger?” Ok – have to think of that next time!

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

RRT member cleans windscreens on fire trucks

By lunchtime Saturday, the fire was under control and the area declared safe. The firefighters were provided lunch before going back to their stations hopefully to get some rest before being called elsewhere. In total, over the day and night of RRT assistance, approximately 250 sandwiches, 60 packed meals, 2000 drinks, and 700kg of ice as well as chips, coffee, tea, tubs of fresh fruit and other supplies were provided.

Rapid Relief TEam - Plymouth Brethren

Cold drinks and other refreshments for the tired firefighters in the morning

The Moe RRT felt encouraged by the response from the CFA volunteers and leaders. They were very friendly and appreciative, often voicing their thanks. The RRT returned the thanks to the CFA –selfless heroes who were risking their safety to protect the community’s homes!

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

RRT feeding some of the many CFA strike teams that came in

The Moe RRT was amazed at the generous donations they received from local businesses keen to support them in their cause. Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings and Saviges Road Service Station all contributed free merchandise to assist us feed and refresh the CFA volunteers. We are most grateful for their generosity!



6 thoughts on “Moe RRT supports firefighters at Westbury”

  1. DavidM says:

    Great work fire service & RRT. It’s good to here of the generosity of
    companies providing supplies, keep it up.

  2. Ads says:

    It’s great to see work by the RRT being shown all over the world! Keep up the amazing standard you guys!

  3. Bruce Jewell says:

    As a Strike Team leader up there on one of the days, I would like to commend all the team at RRT. Fantastic job guys, not just the meals, but also for walking around and ensuring that all firefighters had water or anything else they needed.

  4. Old Will says:

    Its great to see the good work done by the RRT spreading out globally! Well done Moe RRT!

  5. Auntique says:

    Excellent response from firies and RRT. Those of us living in areas that receive an abundance of rain (and too much snow right now) have NO idea what it is like. Thanks for keeping us posted and giving detailed insight into what actually happens in a fire situation. Many thanks to all the firies for keeping everyone safe and the RRT for helping the process!

    1. Granny says:

      Nice to hear from you Auntique – you said what I was thinking!
      Well done the fire service, and well done the RRT. We old folk are always amazed to see what you all do, not only in the sunshine but in the dark of night!! (And at weekends too!!)

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