Story by Jesse Mercieca
Trentham brigade Captain Brian Smith is very proud of his role in the program, which has seen many young people grow from cheeky youngsters to respectful adults.
The program, which began in Trentham in 2001, has had 50 participants, and there are 13 taking part this year. Brian said that it helps build confidence in the kids and develops an important community interaction.
“It’s dedicated to giving the younger people in the community an awareness of the ongoing need for CFA and to teach them responsibility for their actions," he said.
One of the more recent community activities the juniors were involved in was the ANZAC breakfast that was held in Trentham fire station. Brian said they also lend a helping hand at community barbecues.
Skills training is also covered in the group’s program, aiming to give the juniors confidence in their abilities. Map reading, draughting (pumping water from dams), leadership and group skills, and other activities all help build character and are skills that benefit with many aspects of everyday life, not just firefighting.
The Midland Cup, which is on 9 October, puts these skills to the test. The Cup will pit Trentham juniors against juniors from other brigades in District 15. Friendly competition is always welcomed by the juniors, along with the quieter barbecues, of course.
Brian’s wife, Kate, said that “most of them show excitement. A few of the younger ones are very excited but the older ones are a bit blasé. They do still want to do it; they just don’t show it as much.”
The cup will be held in Elaine, a small town on
“There are no winners,” she said. “Everyone gets a medallion, that sort of thing.”
Many of the activities are Minimum Skills firefighting. “We run the rakehoe on the day. The rakehoe is for fire breaks. The juniors have to take the foliage off the earth to leave bare earth like we do for a real fire break.
“There’s a first aid section where they take dummies out of cars and apply first aid.
“There’s the two-line fog attack where two juniors put up a screen of water for other juniors to follow and advance to a supposed rescue or shut down of a gas bottle.
“They also do the running grass fire drill where they’ve got to attack a grass fire.”
With such a great outcome to a great program, Brian and Kate hope that more and more juniors will continue to enjoy learning and experiencing new things at Trentham brigade.