The Caves Rural Fire Brigade's Josh Whitcombe, Jeff Farrell, Brad Kingston, Shane Hopton with St Hilliers Mitch Simpson and Andrew Baxter
The Caves Rural Fire Brigade's Josh Whitcombe, Jeff Farrell, Brad Kingston, Shane Hopton with St Hilliers Mitch Simpson and Andrew Baxter Allan Reinikka ROK230318aruralfb

How a big defence contractor generated rural goodwill

THE CAVES Rural Fire Brigade received a generous donation on Friday.

After completing a $16 million project at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, national construction company, St Hilliers, were looking for a local community group to hand their equipment over to.

The company had taken on the project for a new vehicle wash point and bought a brand new 15kVa diesel generator for it.

Only used for the one project, St Hillier's decided to hand over the $7, 390 generator to the rural fire brigade.

"It's been a pretty big donation, we were all pretty surprised,” Caves fire-fighter Brad Kingston said yesterday.

It was something that had been pushed onto the 'wish list'.

"We've been saving up but a lot of the finances go into the running of the brigade, protection gear, stationary, extra gear, equipment,” Brad said.

"We had been applying for grants and fundraising.”

The fact that it is almost a brand new machine is even more fantastic.

"It's awesome, it's only done 50 hours, it still looks brand new,” Brad said.

In Cyclone Marcia, the brigade had to use a generator supplied from Ergon for 17 days straight.

"Now all we have to do is flick a switch and we are self-sufficient,” Brad said.

It will see out The Caves Rural Fire Brigade "indefinitely”.

"It will certainly see us out and it supports the township, giving them somewhere to go, to have a hot shower or cook food,” Brad said.

"It will run our whole shed, communications systems, just about everything, lights, fridges, freezers.”