By Michael Doran
Have you ever thought of joining the CFA but don’t feel cut out to be a firefighter? The good news is there’s certainly a place for you at Hoddles Creek CFA as a member of the Emergency Catering team.
The Hoddles Creek brigade is the designated unit to provide catering to large scale emergency events across the Yarra Valley. Brigade 3rd Lieutenant Brett Kerford said volunteering with the catering team is not as arduous as people might think.
“It’s our responsibility to get the team out to emergencies where firefighters are on the ground for extended periods of time,” he said.
“We need to get more volunteers for catering and people need to understand that there in no fire-fighting involved or long training sessions. The catering group get together once a month for meetings and they don’t need to come from Hoddles Creek to be members.
“Basically no experience is needed and we will train people in the procedures on what’s required and how to work safely as part of the brigade. We will also organise a course so they can get their food handlers certificate.
“When we get the call that catering is required it tells us when and where the team needs to go and there is usually a couple of hours notice. We ring around and see who is available to prep the equipment trailer or pickup some food and then put together a team to attend.
“It’s not an emergency situation that needs an instant response and not all the team need to attend the station to get the gear together and the trailer on the road, some head straight to the location.
Not all the catering done by Hoddles Creek is out in the bush in the midst of an emergency. “We get called on to do catering for a range of events, like feeding 150 at the Healesville Fire Awareness meeting last year.
While this call out is for catering volunteers, Brett added the brigade is also looking for people interested in becoming firefighters. Roles are open to males and females over 16 who live in and around the Hoddles Creek area.