Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Dodging the Bullet for the day , or perhaps the rest of the week ? Whatever the period , it was a JOB

Sitting in sunny Austria , watching the News Reports and Internet , i was able to follow a little of what took place . Having many memories of the area and the pleasant interludes , including day trips for lunch , showing overseas visitors the sights and even unpleasant traffic jams passing through the area including during Easter Monday Night 1967 ,after a Weekend trip in South West Queensland .

Constant Media Coverage since last Thursday , has helped me call to mind many weekend trips and places visited . One of those was the Sunday Lunch in a Katoomba Cafe/Restaurant , where as we awaited the main course , a game of Boules was enjoyed with strangers . Nearby there is a " Tramway " that takes you across the Gorges . Another time i passed over the area in a Cessna light aircraft , flown by a Guy who went on to fly for TAA , before the Pilots Strike that caused him to relocate to Europe .

As mentioned in previous Blog posts , in my mid 20s , i lived in Wagga Wagga , whilst working as a Sales rep for a Farm Building production company , that started life as the builder of the Sydney rattlers on the NSW/Sydney Rail System . When the weekends were spent there , i would head over to training sessions with the Volunteer Bushies . Great way to get to meet people as well as learn many useful skills . Coming from life in Sydney to a " Bush Life " , with only a few days in town , meant that you could stand in the bar or get out and volunteer your time . During the week i was sleeping 4 days a week in Motel/hotel situations , so there were evenings to fill and as a result of this i started to organise my travels to coincide with training sessions in other NSW Towns .

Over the years of travelling the Countryside , i was fortunate to be only needed for training . I don't recall being in an area that required me to join an active scene . The late !960s and early 1970s certainly had "Fire Occasions " but i was reading about them , rather than being a participant .

Sydney had a bad scare in January 1994 , i was watching that whilst Skiing in Andorra . Each year since then it seems to me that each of the Australian States suffer " Bush Fires " on a recurring basis , with severe results . In addition , there are also regular Flood occasions that cause loss of property to the community .

With these events bringing hardship to so many people , it comes as no surprise to read that so many people are pitching in to fight for OTHER PEOPLES PROPERTY !

fire fighters have flown and driven from South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand. Read more:

 Mateship is one of the foremost qualities of the Australian Character . It is instilled in the Nation's backbone to the extent that , the local scallywag/deadbeat , can find himself doing the same job as the leader of the community , even the Nation's Prime Minister has been seen driving a fire truck  on a 14hr shift :.

The bushfires have been stirring lots of passion on the Herald's letters page, particularly Tony Abbott's cameo with the firies.

  " Mr Abbott was a volunteer firey long before he was elevated to the upper echelons of politics. He is providing a solid role model for all Australians. He should be lauded for this (along with all the other paid and volunteer firies). "

Exchanging his Fire Uniform , his Day Job included a recent visit from Prince Harry in Sydney :

There are of course , those that know better than to roll up their sleeves , they would prefer to write about rather than do !

Poll: Is the time right to make a link between bushfires and climate change?

Poll closed 22 Oct, 2013
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Read more:

Thankyou SMH for the live updates. Have found the RFS website a bit lacking in this Read more: THEY FIGHT you write!

As mentioned above , people are setting aside their DAY JOB and pitching in to save their community , whilst this is going on , School is out , although many of the children are still turning up there , since their Parents will be at work . Amongst the School Community , many of the older Youths are in Exam Season , but rather than studying , they are working on the Fire lines . THere are many whose Exams will have been disrupted , but there is provision for them to attend other Schools to sit and also an escape clause that will allow them to defer to a later date , although i doubt many will be happy to put off an exam after putting in so much preparation ?

The scale of the crisis is such , that many of the most experienced RFS firefighters , are having difficulty recalling more dangerous experiences :

  1. In my 33 years as an RFS member, I've never faced a more challenging fire scenario that we are facing over the next 48 hours.

  2. My wife made this sign- I took to work & look! RT : NSW Governor visited HQ thanking firefighters
NATURE has it's own agenda , it is amazing what can happen from year to year :

Governments try to prepare for ALL Eventualities and that can be said of Australia , just as it was seen recently on the East Coast of India , when a repeat of the 1999 disaster , that cost 10s of Thousands of lives then , resulted in about a 100 lives lost this time through PROPER Contingency planning ! With repeated Bush Fires in Australia , the public have been asked to create their OWN Disaster Plans , so that in the event of an Emergency they can prepare THEIR OWN ACTION PLAN to cope with Nature :

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell spoke at a press conference from RFS headquaters :

"We are all in this together and we are going to get through this day". "If you haven't prepared yourself, for those in the Blue Mountains, now is the time to leave." "We hope, of course, today's conditions and potential events do not occur. We've planned for the worst but we continue to hope for the best." "Whatever happens today, we are not out of the woods." He said it's too early to tell what the cost to the state will be. But it will be "tens of millions".

With any adversity , there will be those who will try to line their pockets :

  1. "that at a time when so many people have lost their homes it's a good time to try and make some money". Read more:
    • Retweeted Melinda Hayter (@MelindaHayter):
      #Lithgow police say they're disappointed to see looting taking place at evacuated areas on the fire ground. #nswfires
  2. "A coachload of people from Sydney making enquiries about coming up the mountains just to see the fires today "GOT TO BE KIDDING !

There is so much more info available :

My Idea of a " HERO " as i have stated before , is NOT a sporting Star , they may qualify as " legends" or others that people look up to in everyday life .

HERO status , i believe , should be reserved for those that step out of their everyday " role " and put their LIVES AT RISK , for others !

EACH of those that are Volunteering for service in these ardous conditions , deserve the respect of the WHOLE COMMUNITY , some will be held in high esteem by their colleagues and thus can deservedly be described as : " TRUE HEROES " !

SAD Fact to add on 24th Oct :

DAVID BLACK , Rest in Peace ! Gaelic " Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis."!May GOD have mercy on his SOUL !

At the going down of the SUN .... WE SHALL REMEMBER HIM !

" He was trying to do the right thing, fighting the fires and for something like this to happen - it’s just tragic. Life just doesn’t seem fair sometimes "

NEVER was so much thanks due to so FEW !

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