Ken Baxter’s association with the Stratford Fire Brigade has encompassed some 55 years of dedication, during which time he has been highly active, in Stratford brigade, the group and at a regional level. This includes 22 years on the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria Committee and a member of the working group that developed
the Volunteer Charter.
Ken has used his trade skills to vastly improve the facilities of the Stratford Fire Brigade and amenities of other brigades within the group. This concern for members has seen him working consistently to secure additional appliances for fire fighting and support vehicles.
Over the last 6 years he has worked on and put together an Incident Awareness Concept and training format which will allow fire fighters and trainees to experience and practice scenarios, conduct and running of an incident, from turning out to completion of the event.
Ken has been heavily involved in group training including radio communications and preparing brigade and group members for incidents.
Ken continues as an active firefighter, assisting in the Communications Room, Planning, Training Committee, Facilities Committee and representative on VFBV and Municipal Fire Prevention Committee at Group Level.
From the earliest of his 55 years as a rural fire fighter, Ken was aware of the importance of practical and reliable equipment. Being a builder he put to use the skills of his trade, keeping equipment in good running order and securing much needed resources. He became a driving force to obtain our first brigade/community owned tanker. Over the years he worked with the group to prepare for the replacement of the tanker. Ken took up the need to lobby for a much needed 4WD slip on unit for Dargo brigade, which was achieved.
Ken’s building skills were utilised when the old fire station was replaced. He assisted in the relocation and establishment of the new building and refurbishment. Ken has made renovations in the original station for a divisional command room interfaced with the communications room.
On the 21st of September, Stratford Fire Brigade hosted a special night to celebrate Ken’s achievements. Over 120 people gathered at the fire station to enjoy dinner and to witness the presentation of the Outstanding Service Award to Ken, the highest award in CFA.
Guests include DSE, Men’s Shed, SES, CFA Region and District Staff, neighbouring brigades, Wellington Shire Council Representatives, family, friends, and of course CFA Chief Euan Ferguson, who proudly presented Ken with his award.
Ken was “humbled and proud” to receive his award and was “overwhelmed at the number of people celebrating the award with him”.
Congratulations to Ken and his wife Dawn Baxter, who Ken dedicated his award to. As he “couldn’t have done any of it without her”.