Who are we?
The Channel Volunteer Fire Brigade is a group of volunteers from Woodbridge, Kettering, Oyster Cove, and Birchs Bay. Our area of coverage is from Oyster Cove and Nicholls Rivulet Road, south to Birchs Bay and Gallagher’s Road and inland to the boundary of the Huon Valley Council.
Unlike most volunteer brigades we have two fire stations, one at Woodbridge and one at Kettering. Between them they house two medium tankers and one light tanker.
Our brigade like most others is completely reliant on volunteer members from our community. Amongst our membership we have had, a nurse, a naval architect, a ship builder, an electrician, a radiographer, retirees, students, state government employees, self employed small business people.
What we do
Vegetation fires: the majority of vegetation fires that we attend are relatively small and usually constitute fires that have gone beyond the control of the person lighting it. We are occasionally required to assist brigades in other areas and have arranged crews to attend fires on Bruny Island, in the South West, in the Midlands, East Coast and interstate to NSW.
Photos below show members at Conningham bushfires 2008 (Click to enlarge)
Structural fires: occasionally we are called to deal with structural fires, these may be homes, sheds or workshops. We also look after three monitored premises Woodbridge District High School, Marine Discovery Centre and Westwinds all at Woodbridge.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: the other major role our brigade is involved with is assisting the Police and Ambulance at motor vehicle accidents.
Training is held every 2nd and 4th Wednesday evening at 7pm and every 1st Sunday at 1:30pm. All members are required to attend these training sessions to ensure their competencies are current.
In addition to our usual training schedule there are about a dozen nationally-recognised training modules run by the Tasmania Fire Service that can be completed. These are either held at a neighbouring brigade or at the Tasmania Fire Service training facility at Cambridge.
Photos below show members at training day at Cambridge (Click to enlarge)
What do I need to do to become a member of the Channel Brigade?
Contact us and ask to become a member!
You will be required to undertake a police record check and a medical, but the medical is only if you wish to be eligible for breathing apparatus training. After these checks are completed, a Brigade Induction is undertaken at the station followed by the Basic Skills training, also conducted at station. Once these are completed you will be eligible to attend callouts under direct supervision. There are then three modules to complete through Tasmania Fire Service to become a Firefighter Level 1: Bushfire; Structure / Mobile Property; and, Operate Pumps.
The only other requirements are that you can work as part of a team and that you have a good sense of humour!