Captain Daryl Fox describes the second Goschen fire shed as a “basic stock standard roller door shed. It’s not lined. It doesn’t have a concrete apron.”
Understatement aside, its construction on Swan Hill Road was a satisfying achievement for the small brigade. “We seemed to have accumulated a lot of money,” said Daryl. “We got money from the tennis club folding so the money stayed in the community and went towards the shed. CFA contributed a fair amount of money too.
“In the end we had to have women’s and men’s toilets permanently plumbed and that cost more than the shed.”
There’s no town at Goschen and the local hall has closed down. “It’s unusable,” continued Daryl. “Now we have somewhere to have a meeting if we need to and we keep the fire truck in the original shed next door.
“We’re not a super-active brigade. We have five, maybe six incidents a year. We’re so close to [Lake] Boga and Swan Hill and we’re a significant support brigade to them. We have a really good relationship with the Boga boys so we’ll tag along with them to training.
“The shed is a bit of a distance away from us so our turnout time is a minimum of 20 minutes. We’ve got 11 active members with pagers and we manage to get between four and seven members to a fire. One hundred per cent of them are farmers or farmhands. The farms have got bigger and bigger so we’ve lost members with an aging population.
“If you’re in the brigade, you’ve got an obligation to turn up. No one likes going to a fire. You’re not dealing with people at their best. Still, we’re all very good friends.”
The settlement of Goschen missed the early 2011 floods but brigade members still did their fair share of sandbagging.