Lorne holiday goers will be well protected over the summer holidays with extra Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers helping man the local fire station.
Lorne’s population swells from 1,400 to about 20,000 during summer and in 2016 the Lorne Summer Crew was introduced to bolster the brigade and continue keeping locals and tourists safe.
The crew consists of a rotating group of four volunteers and an additional truck supporting the brigade during big events like the annual Pier to Pub and allows local members to work in their businesses during the busiest times.
The crews arrived at Lorne on Boxing Day and will remain until 15 January, which coincides with the conclusion of the Pier to Pub event weekend.
CFA Commander, Wayne Aylmer said up to 30 members from brigades around Victoria chose to volunteer at different times over the summer.
“We sell the message have a day out, go for a walk, bring a family member, do what you like but just be available on the truck when it’s needed,” he said.
Commander Aylmer said the extra crew also gave the brigade “viability”.
“The brigade members say we can run the brigade for 50 weeks of the year but during the other two we need extra volunteers to help out.”
“For some Lorne volunteers the two weeks over the holiday period is the bulk of their income, so being able to continue working in their business is vital.
“The extra volunteers are invaluable.”
He said the program also allowed members from different brigades to work together.
“You could have a member from Bannockburn working with someone from Highton. They probably wouldn’t cross paths all that often in the district.”
The extra volunteers are primarily committed to urban response and day-to-day incidents such as children locked in cars, motor vehicle collisions, campfires or barbecue incidents.
Members from the local brigade will continue responding, however this arrangement will provide them with much-needed support to deal with the increase in demand, said Commander Aylmer.