Road crash rescues keep brigade busy

Apollo Bay firefighter Dave Howell said motor vehicle crashes are the most common emergency for the town’s fire brigade.

Apollo Bay firefighter Dave Howell said motor vehicle crashes are the most common emergency for the town’s fire brigade.

APOLLO BAY Fire Brigade captain Dave Howell says traffic crashes make up 80 per cent of the volunteer brigade’s work, requiring a range of skills.

Mr Howell, who has been a firefighter for 22 years, said Apollo Bay was the only Country Fire Authority brigade in District Six that performed high-angle rope rescues.

“Eighty per cent of our work is rescue work.

“We did 84 jobs for the year last year, probably one to two a week.”

Mr Howell said rescues could require a range of skills, including rope work, from ordinary collisions to cars at the bottom of cliffs.

“Whenever they need us we are there, it doesn’t matter if it is two o’clock in the morning or two o’clock in the afternoon,” he said.

“Road rescue stuff is always changing because cars are always changing.

“There is a lot going into it, not just cutting up a car.”

Mr Howell said gathering members together to work at traffic crashes could be difficult, due to family and work commitments.

“When you need them they are just not there,” he said.

“Road rescues you need about six or eight people and you can struggle if you don’t have enough.

“You have your moments but most of the time you are pretty good.

“You just got to do what you got to.”

Mr Howell said despite this Apollo Bay members still worked well together as a team.

“Everyone is just as good as me, they are all pretty good guys,” he said.

“It is just a team effort, you work together and you get the job done.”

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