Batlow RFS looks back at a lucky year

NSW Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Stuart Midgley with Batlow RFS members at the presentation of their Category 1 tanker.

BATLOW Rural Fire Service reflected on a thankfully quiet year at their annual general meeting at the weekend.

“It was a good and quiet year (fire-wise),” re-elected captain Darrell Watkins said.

“I think we were just lucky.”

Despite temperatures that soared over summer, Batlow RFS only had two notable fires to contend with.

One was on Old Tumbarumba Road at Batlow at the end of January, which Captain Watkins believes was probably started by a discarded cigarette butt, and which the firefighters easily extinguished, and the other caused by a lightning strike at Minjary between Tumut and Gundagai.

“We had many lighting strikes, but not many fires,” Captain Watkins said.

“We went to a lot of motor vehicle accidents, as we are first response in the area.”

Equipment-wise, it was a big year for Batlow, as they acquired a new Category 1 Isuzu duel cab tanker. The tanker is fitted with automatic transmission, but is challenging to drive due to its bigger size than its predecessor.

“We have four blokes who can drive it, and we want the others to get the experience needed,” Captain Watkins said.

Rob Scobie was elected Senior Deputy Captain at the AGM, and Jeff Kynaston and Greg Walsh deputy captains.

Lori Watkins is treasurer and Michael Blenkins secretary.

Batlow RFS has about 10 active members who can be called up when needed.

“Like every brigade, we’d like to have more,” Captain Watkins said.