It has been a busy and frustrating month for South Grafton Fire Brigade captain Dennis Pye.
It has been a busy and frustrating month for South Grafton Fire Brigade captain Dennis Pye.

Grafton brigade captain unhappy

SOUTH Grafton Fire Brigade received a record number of fire calls last month, breaking a century-long record.

The crew of retained fire fighters responded to 51 calls during January, 34 more than in the same month last year.

Brigade captain Dennis Pye puts the significant increase of call outs down to changing times and mindless destruction.

“In previous times we didn’t have the wanton destruction and vandalism that we have now,” he said.

“Why people would want to walk around burning bins, starting grass fires and torching cars I will never understand.”

The high number of call outs are taxing on the crew of 14 which is on call 24 hours a day. Members often have to leave their job or get up in the middle of the night to respond to a fire that has often been deliberately lit.

“Every job that we go to has a report written up after it and going to 51 jobs then writing up 51 reports ties up resources,” Mr Pye said.

South Grafton Fire Brigade has responded to a range of incidents in the past month, including grass fires, bin fires, torched cars, hazardous material spills, automatic fire alarms and a small number of residential fires, averaging almost two call outs a day.

Mr Pye said the acts of malicious damage and intended destruction were not only a waste of resources but also come at a high cost. “Not only do they tie up resources but they are a substantial cost to the local community.”



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