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.The Captain directed the following members as eligible to drive the Bush Fire Vehicle:

Mr. Bruce Cranston, Mr. R. Lumb, Mr.R.Tait, Mr. M. Borgdarnoff.

Installation of a Two Way Radio System was carried out during 1970 the opening of the Council Base Station with call sign VLZXL was officially opened and all members were given instruction on the use of radio communication and training instigated for familiarization of operators.

It was proposed to fit a two-way radio in each vehicle to control the deployment of resources from Council Base in the event of fire outbreak.

This was a major change to the way fires were handled as previously Captains of each brigade were responsible for the decisions and movement of personal and now it was being brought under the control of one Fire Control Authority.

In February 1971 the Brigade was to under go some permanent changes due to the retirement of the Captain Mr. Harold Cranston after hawing held the position for 26 years and his decision to stand down sorely felt by all members, due to the degree experience and effectiveness in decision making he had shown over the years. However it was soon decided to offer the position to his son Mr. Bruce Cranston who agreed to accept the office of Captain.

Due to the problems the Brigade was having with the inadequate size of the Fire Shed a request to Baulkham Hills Council for new premises was made and the settlement of a new site commenced. A site in Cranstons Road seemed the logical place. It was a triangular parcel of land made by the realignment of Cranstons Road near Mr. Fred Best's place and appeared to be unused Council land. As time will

members were quite opposed to their introduction while others saw it as the way we must progress however they were pressed into service and proved a most successful tool.

Equipment Shed

1961 saw the provision and erection of the Fire Equipment Shed in the grounds of the Middle Dural School with entrance on Old Northern Road the cost was to be shared by both Hornsby and Baulkham Hills Shire Councils. Soon after a mass round up of all available equipment which was scattered around various members premises was hastily assembled in the new shed. It was at this point that we came to realize the extent of equipment and tools that had accumulated as the building was nearly filled to capacity.

Troubles soon appeared as the on set of winter approached, overflow of water run off from Old Northern Road was so great that the drainage was unable to cope and resulted in the total water running down the driveway of the Fire Shed, under the door through the shed and out the back by pressing out the fibro sheeting. There were several attempts to rectify this problem by Council over the next few years but the problem always re-occurred during the life of the building.

1962 was the year we became mobile as we took delivery of a (new) Fire Tanker ex army Ford Blitz four wheel drive supplied via Baulkham Hills Council from the Dept. of Public Works. This machine was fitted with a 500 gallon tank and centrifugal pump unit and handed over to the Brigade to be stored in the equipment Shed.

This proved to be a major problem as the shed was only just big enough to take the vehicle, their being only about 7OO mm clearance on each side and the same at the end. This meant that all the equipment had to be stored either on the vehicle or hung from the walls of the shed by hooks.


Show this site was rejected in favor of a new site in the school ground but with an entrance in Middle Dural Road.

About this time a new Fire Control Officer, Mr. Lionel Smith, was appointed by Council to head up all fire fighting operation: and amalgamate all Brigades under a uniform code, the FCO made a visit to the Middle Dural Equipment shed and reported he was dissatisfied with the level of maintenance of the equipment as one radio was inoperative due to moisture, hose: laying on the shed floor and the Fire Tanker inoperative due to a faulty clutch, it was argued the radio and hoses could at least in part be attributed to the inadequacy of the existing structure as it was still considered as part of the water course when raining. To this end Council agreed to fund and build the new Fire Station.

With the advent of increased equipment there arose a continual need for maintenance and testing of all hoses, pumps engines and radios etc. so a new group of four, Mr.J.Mutch, Mr.M.Morrison,   Mr.R.Epthorp and Mr.D.Chivers were elected to attend these matters, this followed continued remarks from the Fire Control Officer that equipment was not kept to a standard. The new maintenance crew soon had the situation In hand and setup a weekly check and test roster which still operates to the present day.

Another innovation was introduced at this time 1972 was Hydrant road marking. Crews were quickly organized to cover every road within the Middle Dural area to paint a white triangle on the road adjacent to each hydrant, this was a practice, which spread to every Brigade in the Shire.

At last the New Fire Station materialized, the work was completed in late 1973 together with a replacement Fire Tanker in December, The new vehicle was a Bedford four wheel drive and fitted with a four thousand litre tank, the water being pressured by a Coventry Climax 4 cylinder petrol multi stage pump.

This was a vast improvement on the previous equipment and provision was made for the carrying of an enormous amount of hose and fittings. this vehicle at the time was considered to be the best-equipped vehicle in the Shire.

The summer of 1974-5 was a un-seasonally hot period with a 41F Fire Emergency declared the Brigade was kept busy fighting many fire outbreaks in and around the district with a total of 12 homes being destroyed and a further 16 homes partially burnt or saved the total cost being estimated at I million dollar on every bad outbreak at Wyoming Road in which every member participated in order to contain the risk, not without some injuries sustained by one of our firemen, another with damage to his private vehicle another with incinerated spectacles.

After the fire period had passed their came a time to recap on the shortcomings experienced during the recent activities and it was decided the following needed attention:

.Extra fuel tank on tanker. Protector for Stop/Go button, Extra lighting on rear of vehicle tray. Phone in the Fire Station, Extra Hand Radios, for Captain and Deputies. Personal Water Bottles, Small 4 wheel drive vehicle to use as a personal carrier, McLeod tools and Aerial Maps

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