Rotary helping thirsty firies

Narrandera Fire Captain Neal Tait, Rotary President Joan Graham and Rotary members David Marshall and Robert Close.

Narrandera Rotary Club has yet again dipped into its pockets to give generously to emergency services in the town.

This time, they have donated a fridge to the Narrandera Fire Station. The fridge is portable and can be kept in the trucks when firies have to go out to a job.

Rotarian Bob Close said the donation of the fridge came about because of an interesting bureaucratic quirk of NSW Fire.

“NSW Fire don’t supply them with cold water,” Mr Close said.

It’s slightly at odds with what Narrandera Fire Captain Neal Tait describes as a “really strict rehydration policy.”

“We’re only allowed to wear the suits for a certain amount of time,” Mr Tait said.

A portable fridge may not seem like much, but coupled with NSW Fire regulations and the threat of dehydration when out fighting fires or attending accidents, it’s vital for the hard-working emergency crews.

According to Mr Tait, on hot summer days fire fighters are only allowed to wear their fire-resistant suits for 11 minutes at a time.

“Then when you get out of the suits you scull the first one,” he said, gesturing to water bottles in the small esky the fire truck currently uses.

“Before you sit down the second one is usually half gone. We’ll be able to take more water now.”

The fridge was bought locally by Rotary.

“Trevor Whitby at Betta Electrical gave us a really good deal. We could have gone out of town but he matched it,” Mr Close said.

As the fire trucks are battery powered and stay on the charge when not in use, the fridge will always be ready to go and will stay cold.

“It’s very much appreciated. We’ll get a lot of use out if that,” Mr Tait said.

Mr Tait said that when attending accidents in summer the temperature of the road can be in excess of 50 degrees.

“We’re getting too hot, we’re getting too many blokes going into hospital. They [NSW Fire] give you all the gear, but sometimes forget the little things.”

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