by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
SSC Newspaper : July 2012
Strathfield Scene 15 HELP OUR HEROES www.ourstrathfield.com.au By Peter Lynch and Bernadette Chua Their temporary headquarters is so badly damaged by re, even police investigators cannot enter the building for fear it will fall down. Rumours abound that a rebug is targeting them. Yet Strath eld's SES are courageously rebuilding their operations so they can continue to help the community. In a testament to their dedication, even a er re ripped through the building they occupied in Weeroona Road, they manned their truck within hours, helping residents hit by a ash ood. Most nd it almost unthinkable that someone would deliberately set re to the building they shared with Strath eld Council workers. But police found bolt cu ers had been used on fence and there were signs of a forced entry before the blaze on June 9. e building was unoccupied when remen arrived -- yet the doors were open. e re is being treated as suspicious by police, and Phil Rogerson, commander of the Flemington Local Area Command, told reporters: "All avenues of inquiry are open". e SES group was sharing the council building a er re destroyed their previous permanent headquarters on Coronation Parade in May, 2008. e SES team held a support group meeting a few days a er the re, and the local chaplain gave them words of encouragement. But there was no doubt the re hit the team of 27 hard. Local SES controller Darrin Parkin has told the Scene they were holding up but determined to continue to help the community. "It is a tragedy that we've been hit twice but we also have to remember that it wasn't just our home, it was also the home for Strath eld Council workers," he says. " ey have lost all of their equipment and are displaced at the moment so we need to think about them and provide support." Parkin says the team are still able to perform minor duties but for larger jobs, they are receiving aid from surrounding SES groups. Some of their loss will also be covered by insurance. Major equipment such as chainsaws were not damaged in the re, but Parkin says the SES were unable to gain access to them. "Because the building is not structurally sound, we're unable to get in to get our heavy duty equipment," he says. " e area is roped o and police are still waiting to get inside." Deputy Mayor Councillor Helen McLucas has urged the community to donate cash contributions rather than equipment to the SES. "Because the SES use such specialised equipment, we're calling for the Strath eld community to make cash contributions at this stage," she says. "Later down the track, we're hoping to hold a more formal fundraiser to buy them the equipment that they need. We've been talking to lots of people and we're building strong community support around this tragedy." Strath eld Mayor Paul Barron and other council o cials were at the scene a er the re, assessing damage and working to ensure council services could still be provided. It is thought machinery and trucks owned by Council were safe, though other equipment was damaged. "We're obviously all in shock a er the re, but I'm just glad nobody was hurt," Cr Barron said. "We're currently working on a plan to temporarily relocate Council sta to one of our other facilities and ensure that Council's ser vices are in no way a ected despite the re." HOW COULD ANYONE SET LIGHT TO OUR HQ? SES local controller Darrin Parkin surveys the fire- damaged Coronation Parade SES headquarters in 2008