Water gift a bottler in fire season
IN THE midst of one of the worst fire seasons in memory, a rare break in activity has given Ipswich firefighters the chance to savour some much-appreciated community generosity.
It might not sound like much, but the regular donations of bottled water that Brothers Leagues Club has made to Ipswich's nine rural fire brigades over the past six years has saved tens of thousands of dollars that can instead be spent on essential equipment.
The added strain of weeks of non-stop fire ground activity between the end of August and the end of October not only took its toll on the firefighters themselves, but also on their drinking water supplies.
So the delivery of a further 2400 bottles of water to the Ripley Valley station on Friday was welcomed with open arms.
Two pallets full of bottles will be separated into equal parts to be distributed among all the Ipswich brigades, in preparation for more fire activity over the next few weeks.
Brothers Leagues Club bar manager Mark Halls said the club knew the supplies were running dry following the recent bad run of fires across the city's bushy outskirts.
"We went back to Schweppes and asked for more and it was no problem whatsoever," Mr Halls said.
"If we can do a little bit just to help the firefighters it's great."
Brothers and Schweppes split the cost of the donation down the middle. It was the second time this year that the pair had donated water to Ipswich firefighters.
Ripley Valley Rural Fire Brigade chairman Dave Morris said it was more than just the corporate world doing its bit.
During their regular collection outside Bunnings Warehouse Booval last Saturday, Ipswich residents dug deeper than normal and handed over $3000.
Mr Morris had no doubt that the recent fires had left an impact on the community.
"Our brigade had been going for 83 days straight with crews on the fire ground - that's the longest period of time fighting fires that I can recall since I joined the rural fire brigade in Marburg in 1991," he said.
"Rural brigades cannot survive without the help of the public."
In the recent fires, the Ripley crews went through $900 worth of truck tyres alone.