It’s a return home for the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Jenolan Caves Fire Brigade as they celebrate the official opening of the fire station on Saturday.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole MP and NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Kyle Stewart joined NSW RFS members and guests at the new $830,000 Burma Road fire station to mark the occasion and reminisce on its history.
The station was rebuilt on its former site after the Green Wattle Creek fire tore through the region and burnt the original shed to the ground in 2019. This is the third fire shed to be built on this site after the original was lost to damage and asbestos.
The rebuild commenced construction in July 2021 and was completed this month. The new station includes three truck bays, a multipurpose room, mobile phone booster, and laundry facilities.
Deputy Premier Toole said the brigade had held its own during the devastating 2019-20 fire season and needed its station returned to its former glory.
“The Jenolan Caves Brigade was instrumental in protecting the historic Jenolan Caves House as flames bore down on its doorstep but sadly, their station couldn’t be saved,” Deputy Premier Toole said.
“It is so pleasing to see the brigade’s resilience and its commitment to rebuild. The Jenolan Caves is a must-see destination for many tourists and can see hundreds of people pour into the area so it’s vital the NSW RFS has the facilities to be prepared for any incidents.”
Deputy Commissioner Stewart said the Jenolan Caves Rural Fire Brigade was established in 1979 and the volunteer firefighters worked out of a single garage.
“Today, the brigade celebrates 32 active members who are kept busy responding to fires, motor vehicle crashes, and flood incidents as well as conducting vital hazard reduction burns and educating people on bush fire safety,” Deputy Commissioner Stewart.
“The brigade has not only helps protect their own community but have been called on to assist their Chifley/Lithgow District colleagues to fight large fires in Bathurst, Oberon and the Gospers Mountain fire in 2019.”
Some special items which perished in the fire included a stained-glass window depicting the brigade’s logo and a toy car collection of heritage fire vehicles. Through the generosity of the community and members of surrounding brigades a new stained-glass window has been made and installed in the new fire shed and donations of toy fire truck replicas have flooded in to kick start the new collection.