Western Bulldogs thank CFA vols

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CFA volunteers that fought the recent fires in the west of Victoria were given an opportunity by the Western Bulldogs Football Club to thank them for their service.


At Sunday’s AFL round 2 match, Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Suns, CFA volunteers formed the Guard of Honour and did the coin toss.

CFA Deputy Chief Officer West Region Brett Boatman said the gesture from the Western Bulldogs was warmly received.

“The west of the state has had a hard couple of months and our volunteers have worked tirelessly to protect their communities,” Brett said.

“Our volunteers involvement in the Western Bulldogs game on home turf is a fantastic gesture and recognises the hours of time our volunteers have given and reinforces the Bulldogs strong connection to the west.”

Sheep stud farmer Ellie McDonald, 25, from Dadswells Bridge Fire Brigade was chosen to do the coin toss and while an Essendon supporter, was thrilled to be picked.

“On the 13 February the first call came through about 11.30am and we saw the smoke and knew this was going to be a big day,” Ellie said.

“We quickly rang a lot of the locals – the vulnerable ones we thought would be in danger and anyone else we could think of to get them out of the way.”

“We saved one house and went up the road to help out.”

The crew with Ellie worked from 11.30am to 12.30am.

Dadswells Bridge is a small community up of about 20 homes. During the recent fire one home and several sheds were burnt.

Ellie owns a stud farm with 800 acres of land and about 270 breeding stud sheep. On 13 February 30 sheep were burnt and only two paddocks on her farm were not burnt.

“It could have gone very differently,” Ellie said.

Ellie joined the CFA when she was 16 years old in 2015 and is now the first lieutenant.

“If you're in the local community, it’s something you’ve got to do and it’s good catching up with the locals all the time.

“It’s about sharing the load – if you are available you go.”

20 CFA volunteers made of the Guard of Honour on Sunday and 100 CFA volunteers were offered general admission. CFA extends a big thank you to the Western Bulldogs for this recognition of volunteers.


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Submitted by CFA Media