Thursday, October 12, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
It all started 36 years ago for Brian Little, when the previous Proserpine Fire Captain approached him at his Ford dealership and asked if he wanted to join and become an auxiliary firefighter.
At the time, the Proserpine Fire Station was stationed in the heart of Proserpine, on Main Street, with Brian’s dealership right next door, meaning in the case of an emergency, Brian could just jump away from his desk at a moment’s notice and help save lives.
Since then, the Fire Station has moved to a purpose-built facility in Hinschen Road, which allows the team of 18 to operate most effectively, answering calls as needed.
“There were times when I was working and I’d get the call, drop everything and attend the scene,” Brian explained.
“We average four to five phone calls a week, with about 65 per cent of those being road accidents on the highway.”
Brian has recently eased into retirement but has stuck on as an auxiliary firefighter.
But why does he do it?
“Because we are helping people during one of the most traumatic experiences ever, when we can only make things better.
“We don’t do this for the money, we do this because we care for our community and the people in it.”
New recruits simply undergo three weekend training sessions, then seven days of offsite training.
From there, they have 12 months to receive further certifications including their truck license, road safety, and hazard training, before they are fully qualified.
Additionally, each fire fighter has two-hours of training every Wednesday, to ensure up to date and consistent knowledge and training.
Brian Little signed on to be an auxiliary fire fighter 36 years ago and has never looked back. Photo credit: Bronte Hodge