Community Education Coordinator for the CFA Gippsland Region, Nicole Cooper-Warneke, said the CFA exhibit was a hit amongst the young and old.
The stall, which focused on the ‘On the land’ publication, utilised “great big displays and visual tools to reinforce messages,” she said.
Integrated Fire Management Planning was also high on the stalls agenda, displaying the CFA working together with the DSE, and the Wellington and East Gippsland shires.
The “colourful and inviting” marquee encompassed different sections, encouraging interaction between all members of the community and the CFA.
One section allowed for volunteers to speak with their VFBV representatives. Another showcased Fire Ready applications on iPads, highlighting the importance of technology in agriculture. And another presented a map on which people could locate where they live, and learn in which fire region they are located.
However the biggest attraction was Captain Koala, brought to life by Bairnsdale Brigade Captain, Les Beechey.
“I’d never done it before. It was a really great day… The kids loved it,” Mr Beechey said.
Ms Cooper-Warneke said Captain Koala was a major drawcard.
“Kids could get their photo taken with him, as their parents engaged with the rest of the stall...He was a real character, loved by the young and old,” she said.
Vegetation Management Officer, Chris Lewis, who was on the Field Days’ organising committee, praised the Bairnsdale Fire Brigade for their “exceptional” work on the day.
“They went out of their way to work with their community…they are to be commended” he said.
Being located opposite the police and St. Johns ambulance stalls, was beneficial Mr Lewis said. Ms Cooper-Warneke said this allowed for a great integration between them.
A pump fittings dexterity test made by the District 11 operation team attracted crowds, as prizes were given to those who put the fixtures on the quickest.
And with hundreds of giveaways such as show bags, hats, stress balls and publications, the goal of “engaging and interacting with the community” was well and truly reached, said Ms Cooper-Warneke.