Ahead of the fire season, Whittlesea Fire Brigade is preparing its trucks and volunteers for its official open day on November 12. 

Volunteers will roll out their trucks bright and early for residents to attend the station and ask questions on fire preparedness and what being a volunteer involves.

Children can engage in activities with their families along the fire safety talks, firefighting displays and a coffee van that will be set up throughout the day.

Whittlesea Fire Brigade captain Richard Gardiner said the event was a chance to start a dialogue with community members about their home safety or bushfire plans.

“It’s just seen as an opportunity for brigades to formally open their doors to their local community to say, ‘come on down, meet the members of your brigade’ and then really, it’s to see what interactions might flow from there,” he said.

“We’d be very keen to talk to people who don’t have a plan and are keen to write one, or if people would like to talk about components of the plan they’ve already got, and general things they could do to improve fire safety around their property.

“Of course we’d love for them to bring their kids along well. It’s a great opportunity for kids to have that familiarity and trust with the fire brigade.”

The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed a combined El Nino and positive Indian Ocean Dipole Climate pattern – meaning an earlier arrival of high-risk bushfire weather compared to recent years.

Mr Gardiner said now was the time for people to start preparing for the fire season.

“We have had three below-average fire seasons – we do anticipate that to be higher this summer,” he said.

“We’re really imploring all residents in our local community to get prepared because responding to fires when they occur is a joint effort between the local community and the fire service.”

To prepare for the fire season, Mr Gardiner recommended people visit the Country Fire authority website for fire-preparing material or contact Whittlesea Fire Brigade on 9716 2133.  

The brigade currently has a membership of 85 volunteers, with 50 operational, and is open to recruiting more volunteers.

“People can come down, make contact with the brigade anytime if they want to join but the open day’s a great opportunity for them,” Mr Gardiner said.

“We will definitely be there in force, and take the time to show through the equipment, talk to them about what’s involved and help get them sign up.”

Whittlesea Fire Brigade open day is from 10am to 2pm on November 12 at Whittlesea Fire Station, at 11 Laurel Street, Whittlesea.

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