SA Country Fire Service Promotions Unit - History Section
- 1952 to Present
In the 1950's, the Birdwood Fire Service was known as the Birdwood Fire Fighting Committee and consisted of a round 12 registered. members.
Slip on water tanks were stored at the town's Institute and loaded on to the first available truck. Meetings were also held at the Institute.
A Landrover supplied by the Gumeracha District Council was used for fire fighting and sirens at the Birdwood Mill (now part of the, National Motor Museum) alerted the community of any emergency.
In 1961, construction of the first fire station in Birdwood commenced on the site of the, new station today and the Brigade was registered with the Emergency Fire Service in 1962.
The photo above shows Mr Richard Hicks Mayor of Gumeracha District Council (centre left) with Mr James McSkimming, Chair of the Birdwood EFS(centre right) at the opening of the first station with, Mr and Mrs Norm Ruth (left) who donated the land the station now stands on and members of the Birdwood EFS (right).
By 1966, there were more than 30 members of the Birdwood EFS and while specific protective clothing and mandatory training was not required, the Brigade had khaki overalls as uniform and trained in hose drills and other activities for both emergency response and to participate in State competitions. The Brigade also had its first dedicated large appliance, an International 114.
In the 1970's road crash rescue equipment was introduced into the Brigade and communications were upgraded from a HF to VHF radio system.
The Country Fires Act 1976 was proclaimed in 1977 and the Brigade then become the Birdwood Country Fire Service and the photo above shows the station as it was prior to demolition and the construction of the new station on the site. Specific training standards were introduced in the 1980's and the Brigade obtained a power-pack to run the previously hand operated road crash rescue equipment. The Brigade then had for firefighting, a Bedford 24 appliance and a smaller Mitsubishi 14 appliance, both of which ha been developed by the Brigade.
In the 1990's the Bedford was replaced with one of the CFS built Hino 4WD 24's.
Today the Birdwood Country Fire Service continues to provide community protection as well as regularly supporting local events. It has nearly 40 members in total of which more than half are active firefighters and the others providing critical operational support.
The Birdwood CFS responds to rural and structure fires and provides specialist road crash rescue services with members specifically trained in all these areas and also in incident management. The Brigade is part of the Gumeracha CFS Group and attends around 70 incidents a year including strike team deployments in South Australia and interstate.
The Brigade carries its road crash and breathing apparatus equipment on a purpose built lsuzu 4WD 34 Pumper appliance and is still supported by the Mitsubishi 14.
The new station shed has been developed with a double appliance bay with adjoining breathing apparatus recommissioning facilities, storage and protective clothing change areas. The new station building has a kitchen and bathroom, training and meeting room, and radio room and office. The appliance pictured above is the Brigade's "34' Pumper which is a multipurpose tanker that is used for rural and structure fires and road crash rescue.
This information has been sourced from the Birdwood CFS
This Information was provided by the
SACFS Promotions Unit