Murrurundi's Fire Station could close unless more locals join up as Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) retained firefighters.
Upper Hunter Shire Council Mayor Michael Johnsen and General Manager Daryl Dutton are encouraging Council workers and other Murrurundi residents to consider becoming part-time, paid firefighters.
Cr Johnsen said the benefits of joining Fire and Rescue NSW were much greater than remuneration.
“As a member of the Rural Fire Service I know the satisfaction you get from being part of a team and doing an important job for your community,” Cr Johnsen said.
Cr Johnsen has written to Upper Hunter MP George Souris about increasing funding of Fire and Rescue NSW stations in the Upper Hunter.
Council contributed $61,408 to the FRNSW stations in Scone, Murrurundi, Aberdeen and Merriwa in the last year.
In the letter Cr Johnsen also asked Minister Souris to clarify whether Rural Fire Service volunteers could be approached to join the Fire and Rescue NSW station in Murrurundi.
“It could be a disaster for Murrurundi to not have a fire station because they don't have enough retained firefighters,” Cr Johnsen said.
“The community would lose a resource that can be relied upon to provide a rapid response to fires and other emergencies.”
Murrurundi's first fire station was built in 1937 and the current station opened in 1966. The town has almost 500 occupied dwellings, a school, hospital, nursing home and the New England Highway.
Murrurundi retained firefighters have been called out about three times a month over the last three years according to Fire and Rescue NSW records.
Retained firefighters are on call from home or work to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day including fires, chemical spills, road traffic accidents, assisting other emergency services and working with the community to improve fire safety.
The current deficiency in retained firefighters on roster is the usual, daytime business hours. Men or women who could be available during these hours are particularly requested to find out more and join if they can.
Firefighters need to be fit and healthy, have a current drivers licence, be an Australian citizen and live or work within a few kilometres of a fire station. They receive training in the use of specialist equipment as well as skills like first aid and fire safety.
Anyone interested in joining the Murrurundi Fire and Rescue NSW should attend a meeting at Murrurundi Bowling Club from 7pm, Monday September 30.
Pictured | Representatives from Fire and Rescue NSW, Upper Hunter Shire Council and the Murrurundi Community Leaders Forum met recently to discuss the need for more firefighters. Pictured are Zone Commander for Central West and Upper Hunter Superintendent Murray West, UHSC Manager of Technical Services Coleen Pinkerton, UHSC General Manager Daryl Dutton, Chief Superintendent Neil Harris, Cr Wayne Bedggood, Rodney Swansborough of Murrurundi and Assistant Commissioner Rob McNeil.