This weekend, the Dondingalong Rural Fire Brigade celebrated 75 years of putting out fires in the local community and further abroad.
Members of the community gathered at the Dondingalong fire station on Saturday to celebrate the milestone and show support for those firefighters, both current and past, to whom some locals owe their lives.
You saved our home. The Dondingalong Crew are a family.
The brigade’s Facebook page lit up with messages of gratitude and congratulations.
“Happy 75th birthday Dondingalong RFS. Thanks for protecting our little community for all these years,” one commenter stated.
“Thank you for 75 years of dedicated service,” another said.
They were the first unit to respond to the Sandy Creek Road fire in February this year.
“There are not enough words that cover my thanks, love and appreciation for all your hard work this past week. You saved our home. The Dondingalong Crew are a family,” one local commented on Facebook.
Speaking at the event on the weekend, NSW Rural Fire Service assistant commissioner Jason Heffernan highlighted that the birgade was “the first unit to respond to the Sandy Creek Road fire in February this year.”
If putting their lives on the line for their community wasn’t enough, Dondingalong fire fighters regularly help out in other ways.
For example, last year, crew members climbed Centrepoint Tower to raise funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease.
A history of dedication
Speaking on the history of the brigade, assistant commissioner Heffernan said Dondingalong is known as a brigade to be counted on.
“With over 70 members, this brigade responds not only to bush and grass fires within the area and interstate, but also motor vehicle accidents and assists other agencies following storm and flood activity like in Lismore earlier this year,” Comm Heffernan said.
“Each and every one of these volunteers is worthy of our most sincere thanks and I would like to personally commend them, not only for their commitment to their Brigade and the Service, but also to their community,” he said.
“It is the dedication of all members that will see the Dondingalong Brigade maintain a strong presence in the community into the future.”