BIG THANK YOU: Thornton resident John Brander (left) with members of the Mulgowie Rural Fire Brigade and equipment purchased for the crews by local donations. Picture: Dominic Elsome
BIG THANK YOU: Thornton resident John Brander (left) with members of the Mulgowie Rural Fire Brigade and equipment purchased for the crews by local donations. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Community thanks volunteers with donation of new equipment

THEY put their lives on the line, and now the Laidley community has returned the favour to the firefighters that saved their homes.

Following the devastating fires in Lefthand Branch and Thornton last year, the Mulgowie and surrounding communities came together to thank their local rural fire crews at a community event raising funds for them.

The donations totalled more than $4500, and went towards new equipment for the crews.

Last week, organiser John Brander handed over the equipment to the Mulgowie Rural Fire Brigade - which included new high-volume pumps and leaf blowers.

Mulgowie first officer Roy Emmerson said the support the crew had received in recent months was incredible.

"This time they've been really stood behind us, it's been great," Mr Emmerson said.

"Everywhere you go you get full support - it's great. All through Laidley, Hatton Vale, Gatton - everyone has been wonderful."

The new equipment was a major boost to the crews capabilities, and with fire season far from over, was likely to see use soon.

"I'll be able to set up a pump on the edge of a dam and fill up trucks quicker - it's going to make a turn around and make it a lot easier and quicker," he said.

Rural fire service area director West Moreton acting inspector Paul Storrs attended the handover and said the support from the community was a huge boost for local crews.

"It's fantastic to see - these guys are local people that give up their local time to support their locals," Insp Storrs said.

"It boosts their spirits and their morale - they worked very hard this season, they've been scared by some fires, it's been challenging for them and to see the community come out and support them (is great).

"The money is wonderful, the tools are fantastic but also that community upwell of support - it's a really big key."

He said the new equipment would strengthen the crews' capabilities to respond to fires in the local area.

"The equipment that they've got here - it's specific for their local needs and so that's going to suit their local needs," he said.

"It's really good gear for them to receive, and I know they're very grateful."