Posts Tagged ‘rural fire brigade’

This is one of my favourite songs. I found the clip with the fire fighters and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to begin this. It encapsulates the heroism, the heartache, danger and loss that fire fighting and bush fires can mean. Bushfire season is now with us, as potent as Summer Love.

Every day now I hear the reports of how wonderful it is that Summer is coming… even though we are only in the early part of Spring, the temperatures are already fluctuating wildly. Yes it is wonderful and I adore the beautiful spring and summer flowers we have. The beautiful display of Jacarandas are amazing this year.

A jacaranda lined road.

After a relatively dry winter throughout most of the country, and some idiotic bureaucratic interference that has prohibited back burning and fire breaks by property holders to prevent their homes being caught up in bushfire situations, we have masses of tinder dry, bushfire fuel loads surrounding homes and properties.

The insanity of land management being taken away from property owners, which is so closely aligned to the land care Aborigines have used for hundreds of years, is not simply ludicrous, it is criminally insane.  I am all for Greening Australia, protecting our heritage and doing the right things now, but we cannot and must not put our heads in the sand and have puerile decisions made based on land management that dates back into the last century and before.

This is typical of what farmers and landholders, rural and regional, have to sit back and accept. The fuel load here is enormous. As the foliage falls and builds under the canopy at ground level, and the dried grasses mound up, the gases from the eucalyptus trees can reach combustible proportions. Flash fires can occur, lightning can strike, but you cannot prevent the thoughtlessness of people throwing lit matches or cigarettes out of car windows. More despicable are those who delight in deliberately setting fires once the conditions are at their worst.

As the temperature rises and the winds come across the super heated land, conditions for spontaneous bush fires escalate.  Add to this the intense fuel loads you see above and this is what can and does happen…..

We are very fortunate that we live in Byron Bay, in a beautiful green area, but we are still prone to the influence and devastation of bushfire. Just not to the same extent. Since last weekend there have been over thirty bush fires raging in the Blue Mountains area in New South Wales and over a hundred throughout the state. Thousands of hectares destroyed. Over a hundred homes lost, and this is just so far. There are fires raging in the deep gorges and valleys that cannot be fought. They have to burn themselves, and all the wildlife, out.

image from waterworksvalley.com – Waterworks Valley in the Blue Mountains

This is what the rural fire brigade and their cousins in the city fire departments and local volunteers have been fighting. Until the last fires are extinguished, the final devastating total will not be known. This is not the first bush fire this season.  It will not be the last.

The crime is – much of this could be avoided with common sense.

Yes, I am angry. Our fire fighters, volunteers, home and land owners, our domestic animals and wildlife, none of them should be placed in harm’s way because a small minority of bureaucratic Green terrorists think removal of fuel load is not good for the land. Perhaps THEY should be in the front line fighting the fires.

Off my Soap Box, just for a while.

Blessings to all our fire fighters, home and land owners, our animals caught in the fires unable to escape, the injured wildlife, and all those left behind to try to put everything back together again.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Dawn at home

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.
I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

~Groucho Marx

My morning started as it has for the past two weeks or so. I had decided to put a kick-start to my day, and since I am often awake very early, or late depending on how you look at it, decided a meditation either on getting up, or before I get a few hours snooze time would really put a zing in my day.  It has been working out really well. I have more energy, new ideas are flowing and seeing and being a part of that beautiful calm of pre dawn and dawn has had a magical quality for me. I have been more grateful for the small things in life and that has made some of the gnarlier issues a little easier to deal with.

This morning, after all the horrors of bushfires throughout Australia, and that’s not taking into account the multitude of other issues we are surrounded by, I wanted to spend time sending love and healing to everyone directly affected by these fires, the people and animals, the land devastated by fire and the tireless rural fire brigades which save countless lives whilst standing in the front line against those same fires.

It is a daunting thought, that we are all, in one way or another, able to be affected by natural disaster.  The sheer enormity of the love and healing the land and people need at those times is hard to comprehend.  At times I struggled to remain detached from some of the scenes of the tragedies I could not avoid over the past week, knowing it was possible for it to be repeated again and again before this fire season is “officially” over.

My rainforest songbirds usually blend into my meditation with their musical song.  This morning, for the first time, they found their way to the corner where I sit meditating.  I was brought back to myself earlier than usual. That’s ok, their song is always refreshing and was a nice finish to my meditation.  I decided it was time for a few hours of sleep and curled up next to the warm body of my husband and fell asleep.

All was well, apart from an unusual dream which I will share another time, until I woke up. The crushing pan from a migraine  was assaulting me.  So, I have spent the day cloistered in semi darkness and quiet whilst this monster migraine takes itself away.  Hence, the blog I had prepared has been postponed for this shorter one.

image from diamondheadache.com

For all the myriad problems we, as Australians, have to deal with due to our vast continent, its variable and unpredictable weather, the insurance companies whose only concern is their profit margin, and those NGO’s whose only existence appears to be to make it impossible to make saving life and limb, home and hearth, wildlife and domestic animals, more difficult to achieve, I hope and pray that the good vibes from everyone meditating, from sending their gratitude for our wonderful world  back to it, has the effect I, and others, are praying for.

Early morning from my balcony

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

Love and Happiness

Be beautiful, let your soul shine.  ❤

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couple in love

image courtesy of weheartit.com


Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”   Bruce Lee


There are many choices throughout life, some are easy and some take a great deal of reflection.   The decision I made to become a police officer was one of the easiest I ever made. It was at a time when there was still a great deal of respect for police officers and there were few police women around.  I was determined to be a ‘real’ police officer, doing all the tasks a police man would during the course of a normal day. Not that there were many ‘normal days’. It is often very difficult for anyone to understand why I wanted to be a police officer, but the most simple explanation is that I wanted to be able to help those who were unable to help themselves, in the kind of situations where a police officer was called in.  Also, I truly believed that I was able to do something which not many people were able to, and this was by no means being derogatory towards anyone else or heaping praise on myself.  It was and still is a job where you see the worst of people and if you are fortunate, you get to see the best of people also.


From a time long, long ago.


That was a long time ago, but some things never change. That desire, that drive to help others remains to this day.  You find yourself in some strange and unforeseen situations because that ingrained belief still holds true.  I found myself chasing armed bank robbers dressed only in a leotard and tights (a long time ago!), tackling someone trying to evade the police in Roma Street whilst on the way home from work as burly men carefully stepped aside to allow the man to rush past, and  I also found myself  facing down a seven-foot tall angry Maori who wanted to take the heads off two teenagers with a tree branch because another young man had lost control of his car and crashed into a tree.  At the time he said someone could have been hurt – the fact was the two teenagers were in more danger than any bystander.  Then there was the bleak winter night when an elderly man tried to run across six lanes of traffic in peak hour to try to catch a bus and was hit by a car.


I wasn’t the first on the scene yet no-one wanted to go out there to help him, lying on a wet road in dim lighting with cars whizzing past.  I don’t recall seeing the cars as I dashed out to him, I’m sure they were there, but my focus was on the man lying in the road. He was unmoving, and I had a terribly bad feeling about it. He was obviously, very seriously hurt. Someone called an ambulance, but in peak hour…..  and the police!  A blanket was passed across, but his vital signs were barely there. This was just as  the era of the fear of aids and hiv were taking hold. Neither crossed my mind despite the blood.  I simply had to help.  The ambulance arrived eventually, after he had been resuscitated, and again by the ambulance officers.   Unfortunately he didn’t survive, but I did what I could, little though that was.

.The incredible ambulance officers.
car accident scene

image courtesy of gympietimes.com.au

A week later my son came home from school rather upset.  He had found out that day that the elderly gentleman I had tried to help was the grandfather of his best mate.  The funeral had been the day before and he had asked him where he had been. In such a simple way it illustrated how small our world is, how connected we all are, whether we know it or not.  His friend had talked about this unknown woman who had tried to help his grandfather at the accident but no-one knew who she was.  My son was shocked at hearing the news from his friend and also a little proud that it was his mother who had dashed out into the traffic that night.


Both of my children have followed in my footsteps to some degree. Both have ensured they have current first aid training and both, at some time or another have had call to use those skills at accidents.  Another circle has been created of people who want to make a difference, to help those who cannot help themselves and, often without thought, put themselves in possible harms way.  It is something I am very proud of, that my children care about their fellow-man, or woman, despite the prevailing feeling that “you shouldn’t get involved because of possible repercussions”.  Our litigious society may regret preventing ‘good Samaritans’ one day.

.Our hard-working firefighters

firefighters at accident

image courtesy of beaumontenterprise.com

.The amazing doctors and nurses.

doctors and nurses

image courtesy of masterfile.com

.The dedicated soldiers.

soldier in afghanistan
image courtesy of kotaku.com.au


My little tale has nothing to do with weddings, although both parties say “I do” and in that moment they are also saying that the welfare of the other is at the forefront of their mind and heart.  At that moment they are, often without really knowing it, acknowledging that at some future time, there will be other lives, lives other than their own, which they will place before their own safety trying to help them.  Parents can go to extraordinary lengths for their children time and again. Husbands and wives can find extraordinary strength and fearlessness in times of danger.  In fact, families have a tendency to extend that care to include all members of the family, not just the sons and daughters or spouse.

.Family generations.


image courtesy of living.msn.com

Yet the “I do” which I refer to is the one where the ordinary, average person is saying “I do” to the acceptance of doing what may not be possible for everyone, helping in heart wrenching situations, and sometimes, although not often, putting themselves in harm’s way.  I think about the Rural Fire Service, Careflight helicopter rescue, Coastguard rescue, and so many others who put their lives on the line to help save others.  There are many others, nurses and doctors, firemen and paramedics, any recur organisation who go beyond the call of duty, to try to ensure our loved ones are returned to us. These are the ties that bind us, the circles we create which hold us together and which prompt some of us to offer to go that extra mile to ‘protect and serve’.

.The Rural Bush Fire Brigade.

bush fire fighters

image courtesy of perthnow.com.au

.RACQ Careflight Rescue chopper.

rescue helicopter

image courtesy of qt.com.au


Two small words which can have such far-reaching consequences and yet without them these wonderful people would not be doing the jobs they have undertaken. No-one twisted their arms to do this, it has come from a deep-seated conviction that someone has to be prepared to say “the buck stops here’ and I am here to make things right.  They are the unsung heroes of our society, they have said “I do” and we are all better off for them saying this, for believing as they do.


I am eternally grateful for their dedication, their care and the love they show to everyone who crosses their path in time of need.  Their loss is everyone’s loss.


“The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is”.   Joss Whedon

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“Holidays are about experiences and people, and tuning into what you feel like doing at that moment. Enjoy not having to look at a watch.”
Evelyn Glennie

Kiama waterfall

image courtesy of pbase.com


There is something inexplicably exciting when you start planning a holiday, even if it is going to be just a short break.  We are going to live in the moment and make sure we are BEing present for everything that happens. That’s what we are doing for several reasons.


My father in law is eighty tomorrow and he is having a “surprise” birthday party.  It’s hard to keep it a surprise these days as the family is large and the logistics of getting everyone together, all the arrangements made and the party preparations are impossible to hide.  Especially when he specifically said “No surprise parties” he feels he’s too old to have birthdays now.  We persuaded him that the alternative wasn’t very nice and he’s agreed to keep having them for us.


It’s even more special for me since it’s the first birthday and family get together since our wedding earlier this year, and then not everyone could make it, so I get to meet everyone I didn’t see then, but now as part of the family.  It’s even more poignant since both my parents have passed away and I no longer get to have these events to look forward to. It’s made me realize that each gathering and milestone is important, too important to let them slip by without giving them the attention they deserve.  So, sorry Dad, but roll on the party!


80th party celbration

image courtesy of elegantvocals.wordpress.com

I think we’ll forget the hats though – he’s not really into them, unless of course they’re the rural fire brigade helmets where he’s been a member for sixty years. Quite an achievement and there is little he wouldn’t be able to tell you about keeping us safe in this hot dry weather.  I’m sure top of his list would be to clear around your houses and controlled burns to clear away the rubbish.  But that’s another story.

rural fire brigade

image courtesy of smh.com.au

So we are setting off on a trip to southern New South Wales.  We are making the most of it since we haven’t yet had our “honeymoon” – simply too busy! This, Ray has decided, is a “deposit” on our honeymoon holiday.  So we’re stopping on the way down at Port Macquarie and afterwards we are spending a week in a beautiful B&B with some breathtaking scenery outside the ‘back door’ where we can rest, relax, explore,  go for long walks or simply read and soak up the peace and tranquility.  On the way home we will make a stop in Coffs Harbour to finish things off before arriving back ready to hit the decks running again.


image courtesy of digital-photo.com.au

I’m only breaking one rule, I’m taking my laptop so I can use my photos and blog about what we’re doing or not, as the case may be, and the party, and the drive there and back, since I have this feeling there may be things to see and photograph and I’d love to share them. Recharging your batteries is so important, it helps keep you motivated and looking forward to the big treat when it arrives.  So much excitement in the planning of all the details, where to go and what to see and do.


So in two days we’ll be on the road early… not too early since I’ve been coerced into seeing a kinesiologist to try to get me there and back with my back in one piece and without too much pain!  Day one we only go as far as Port Macquarie so it’s not a huge day and we can have plenty of tea breaks to take in the scenery.


Eurobodalla, Moruya Coast

image courtesy of virtualtourist.com

I’m so grateful we have such a wonderful life to look forward to. It’s all in the way you choose to look at it.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

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