Mt Hallen firefighters secure vital funds

FIRST LINE: Mt Hallen Rural Fire Brigade First Officer Joe Gough is thrilled with the funding.
FIRST LINE: Mt Hallen Rural Fire Brigade First Officer Joe Gough is thrilled with the funding. Lachlan McIvor

THEY work on the outskirts, braving the harshest of conditions to protect the communities they love.

It can sometimes be difficult for rural firefighters to finance the gear and infrastructure they need to carry out their job, especially since they ask for nothing in return.

But one such group, the Mount Hallen Rural Fire Brigade, has received a financial boost that will allow it to build vital infrastructure.

As a part of the latest round (90) of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund, the brigade was one of four Somerset groups to receive more than $40,000 in grants.

It will use $6723 to install a water tank and a concrete slab to complete the covering which was built 12 months ago.

MHRFB First Officer Joe Gough said he was thrilled for the works to get started, having received the funding last week.

"That's all going to happen in the next couple of months hopefully... everything will be all set up for us,” Mr Gough said.

Mr Gough, who joined the brigade in 2010 and rose to his current rank four years later, was relieved the grant came through after missing out earlier in the year.

"It's nice to get an idea, get it going and then to see it come through,” he said.

The Mt Hallen brigade is a diverse group, with the youngest member 18 and the oldest almost 70.

Despite most working full-time, they have all been trained to rise to the occasion when disaster strikes.

"We have 10 on the books, a call-out will typically be three to five (people)... it's a good little group,” Mr Gough said.

"We're always on the lookout for more members.”

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington stressed the online grants application process to apply for funding had changed.

"It is important to note that the next round (91) closes on January 13 to allow groups to get used to the new process,” Mrs Frecklington said.

"I'd encourage groups considering or preparing an application to visit the GCBF website and note the new details.”

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