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The River News, Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 5
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Waikerie - 27th October
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Ward takes top job
AFTER 24 years as captain
of the Waikerie Country Fire
Service (CFS), Graeme Ward
is now the new group officer
for the Mid Murray brigades.
Mr Ward was nominated
and voted in on September 1,
after predecessor Mike Arnold
Mr Arnold’s son, Shaun, is
replacing Mr Ward as captain of
the Waikerie group.
Mr Ward said, since joining
the CFS nearly 40 years ago, he
never expected to hold the group
“It has been 24 years as Mike
as the group officer and myself
as captain, and I think it is a
natural progression to move into
the group officer role,” he said.
“When I joined the CFS, I never
thought I would be a member for
so long and be appointed group
“I joined the CFS to get
involved in the community, and
they were looking for members
so I thought I would help.
“I am looking forward to
working as the group officer to
co-ordinate the other brigades in
the Mid Murray area.”
Mr Arnold said he had
been involved with the CFS for
more than 50 years, and would
continue to serve as a volunteer
“I have been involved with the
CFS for so long it is hard to give
it completely up,” he said.
“I will still have an
involvement where Graeme and
Shaun need me.”
the role last
is now held
PARTICIPANTS of the Firey Women program at Sedan included (from left) Melissa Farrelly, Kay Gerhardy,
Jenny Sommers, Mary Anne Marks and Lyn Seidel.
Sedan’s women get fired up
IN preparation for the bushfire danger
season, women in Sedan took part in
bushfire safety training run by the Country
Fire Service (CFS) on Sunday, September 28.
The Firey Women session saw 10 women
take part to better prepare themselves for
CFS community engagement officer Sue
Mickan said she was pleased with the amount of
participants, including two from Mannum.
“Even though Mannum hasn’t had any major
fire events in recent years, these women felt that
it was still important for them to be prepared for a
bushfire,” she said.
“The other participants all live around the
edge of the last Eden Valley fire, and experienced
property losses of fencing and livestock, with some
who came close to losing their homes.”
The Firey Women program was first developed
nine years ago and has since gained national
recognition through the Australian Safer
Ms Mickan said the program was important for
women to learn bushfire safety skills.
“All of the participants were shocked at the
potential effect of wind change on the size of the
fire, how quickly embers can move and the danger
of being caught out while travelling in a car,” she
“Bushfire Survival Plans were also discussed
and developed, with strategies to include plans for
managing children, parents and in-laws as well
as considering water, power and communications
For more information on the Firey Women
program, visit the CFS website (www.cfs.sa.gov.au).
Locals warned to be cautious
leading into fire danger season
THE SA Country Fire Service
(CFS) has warned of the dangers
of burnoffs during hazardous
conditions, following a spate of
grass fires across the state recently.
Although no reportable incidents
occurred in the Riverland, 23 grass fires
were ignited in other parts of South
Australia on Sunday, September 27,
mostly as the result of out-of-control
CFS state co-ordinator Mark
Thomason reminded locals to check
weather conditions before beginning
“Burning should be carried out with
extreme caution, as there is a great risk
of it getting out of control if undertaken
in hazardous weather conditions,” he
The CFS reminded residents to
monitor their burnoffs, including after
the burn is completed, for possible
“We understand the need for rural
property owners to burn off,” said Mr
“But our primary concern is public
safety and not placing our volunteers
at unnecessary risk due to responding
to incidents that could have been
Mr Thomason said recent windy
conditions were a timely reminder to
regularly check fire bans in the area.
“People must be aware of the
restrictions that are in place when a
total fire ban has been declared, and the
relevant permits that are required,” he
risk of grass
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