Gloucester Rural Firefighters Have New Members | Gloucester lawyer


The faces of Gloucester’s rural firefighters have changed with 70 percent of new members wearing the fire-retardant tunic as this season approaches.

Of the new members, two are completely new to firefighting while the rest have been transferred from other brigades.

Along with the membership renewal, there has also been a change of leadership with Neville Moore taking on the role of captain.

Neville is one of the transferred members, having been in Krambach before moving to Gloucester. Although relatively new to the city, he is a regular firefighter and has been involved in the service for over 30 years.

“It’s a family affair. It’s just what we do,” Neville said.

Neville’s time was not only spent in the Volunteer Rural Fire Service (RFS), he also spent 19 years in a retained role with NSW Fire and Rescue. The unexpectedness of being a firefighter is part of what kept Neville involved for so long.

“You never know when you’re going to receive a page. You could come home at the end of your workday and sit back and relax when the call comes in,” Neville said. “You say goodbye to your family and leave. You have no idea how long you’ll be gone.”

Fire engine pumping water during a hay fire in Barrington on December 8, 2020. Photo Jason Slade Photography

According to Neville, most of the calls were triggered as a result of property fires, although they were occasionally struck by lightning. The brigade also deals with structural fires and car accidents.

He said that traditionally the busiest time of the season for the RFS is when landowners burn before fire permits are implemented. The quietest time is when permits are suspended. Gloucester received 12 calls in August and 11 in September.

Jason Slade is also taking on a new leadership role in the brigade as Senior Deputy Captain. And he’s no stranger to the world of firefighting, either. His interest in listing began after watching media coverage of the 1994 NSW bushfires. But it wasn’t until 1997, when fires hit Perth – near his home – that he made the decision to get involved.

“I thought it would be an interesting thing to do,” Jason said.

Jason spent 19 years in the fire department – 10 years in the WA Fire and Rescue and nine years with the NSWRFS – the last four of which were in Gloucester.

While the two hope not to see another fire season like the black summer 2019/2020, they are bracing for a season of many appeals.

“There’s a lot here that didn’t burn,” Jason said. “We could be busy with grass fires. Due to the drought, there were less cattle to keep the grass down.”

The Gloucester Brigade was called in on the night of November 8, 2019 as they attempted to rescue property in Tinonee during the Hillville fire.  Photo Jason Slade Photography

The Gloucester Brigade was called in on the night of November 8, 2019 as they attempted to rescue property in Tinonee during the Hillville fire. Photo Jason Slade Photography

Unlike the City of Gloucester Fire and Rescue Service, which receives a provision, members of the Gloucester Rural Fire Brigade are strictly volunteers. And although they both serve the Gloucester area, their territories are different. Fire and rescue services cover the township within Gloucester River, Boundary Road, Jacks Road and the railway line. The rest of the region outside of this is covered by the RFS.

The new Gloucester Rural Fire Brigade crew consists of Captain Neville Moore, Senior Assistant Captain Jason Slade, Assistant Captain Kevin Adams, Assistant Captain Robert Stirling and Firefighters Isaac Earle Broadley, David Ironfield, Jo Fitzpatrick, Chloe McCauley, Trish Threadgate, Craig Bates, Bill Ryan, Brett Gibson and Dennis Wamsley.

The Gloucester Rural Fire Department is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested, contact Neville on 0408 430 409 or Jason on 0477 718 859 or send a message through the Facebook page.


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