WHEN you are volunteering on the frontline of a life-threatening bushfire, it’s the small tokens of appreciation that can make it all worthwhile.
That’s the sentiment of many of our local firies who have spent the week pitching in and battling the Northcliffe blaze that remains out of control, having burnt through nearly 85,000 hectares.
Waterloo Volunteer Bushfire Brigade firefighter Kane Robinson has returned home today after spending several nights in Northcliffe.
He said his crew managed to make an impact on the northern end of the fire but there was still plenty of work to do before an all clear could be issued.
Mr Robinson said deliveries of food and drinks were made to the fire frontline to keep the crews going as well as a “goodie bag” usually filled with muesli bars and nuts to tuck in their pocket while they worked.
But a carefully hand-written note from a young Northcliffe boy called Ethan caught Mr Robinson’s eye.
“To fire fighters. You are doing a good job fighting the fire in Northcliffe. We are depending on you. Good luck,” the note read.
Mr Robinson learnt Ethan, along with many families, had been evacuated to either Manjimup or Pemberton among uncertainty their town would remain standing.
“It can be really scary when you’re on the frontline, even for the seasoned guys,” Mr Robinson said.
“We do it for the community and in the knowledge that others would help us out if we needed it – but when you get a thank you like that it has an amazing effect.
“It’s nice to think that kids like Ethan have been taught respect and it really lifts morale.”
Mr Robinson hoped that Ethan and his family might see the Bunbury Mail article and know how grateful the firies were for their support.
Do you want to say thank you to the fire fighters and emergency personnel battling blazes across the state? Email firstname.lastname@example.org