This month marks 40 years of road rescue for the Ballarat Fire Brigade, which was one of the first organisations in the state to take on the role.
Third Lieutenant David Elms said it was senior members of the brigade, including Graeme Broom and Bill Sheppard, who were the driving force behind the unit.
The first call occurred on October 15, 1976. The second was a fatality in Skipton less than a month later.
“That was our initiation to road rescue,” Lieutenant Elms said. “Before that, if the fire brigade was there they would help out, but quite often it was tow truck drivers with crowbars and sledgehammers.”
First Lieutenant Damien Scott said the unit was something the brigade was very proud of, especially having originally initiated it without assistance from the CFA.
“It’s a very vital service,” he said. “We are the only unit in Ballarat that can undertake this type of instant response to these incidences.”
The brigade will host an open day from 10am to 3pm on Sunday, November 13, where it will display original rescue equipment and perform rescue demonstrations.
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