LOCAL HEROES: The firefighter team at the Chinchilla fire station open day on Saturday for Red Balloon Day.
LOCAL HEROES: The firefighter team at the Chinchilla fire station open day on Saturday for Red Balloon Day.

Meet the faces behind our local firefighters

IN RECOGNITION of Red Balloon Day, Chinchilla News wanted to honour our local firefighters. Let's get to know some of them:

Brian Colley

Brian is the captain of the Chinchilla fire station and has been in the position for 18 years.

Before coming to Chinchilla, he was part of the Meandarra fire station and has served a total of 37 years.

Being captain means that Brian's job isn't as hands-on as his crew members.

"I have to look at the bigger picture and safety aspect on the situation," he said.

"It's my job to make sure everyone gets home safely."

Dale Wheeler

Dale is the lieutenant at the Chinchilla station, and he has been there for 10 years.

He originally joined the station with his wife Hayley, whose brother was the lieutenant at the Miles station and both her father and grandfather were firefighters.

The pair have two children, which means juggling a full-time job, firefighting and family life, is difficult at times, but Dale is fortunate to have such an understanding wife.

"Sometimes I have to take off at midnight or leave the dinner table when I'm called to a job, but Hayley gets it," he said.

Dale is also the trainer for southwest Queensland.

Nick Klease-Andrews

Inspired by the television show Fireman Sam as a kid, Nick signed up to the station at the age of 18 and has been a part of the crew for six years.

Nick is a local Chinchilla boy and said the best part of his job is helping the community he grew up in and driving trucks.

"I enjoy being part of such a great team," he said.

"Each call is a challenge, but we always work well to get through it."

Nick also mentioned that his grandmother is very proud of him because he has her name on the back of his helmet, and it's his family representation that helps him get through.

Craig Hammermeister

Craig is better known as 'Hammer' and has been in the station for 19 years.

A local boy heavily involved in the community, he thought one day it was time to do something to help out and joined the station.

With a passion for leadership and mentoring, this is the role 'Hammer' has taken on.

"I like the leadership side of things," he said.

Hammer's highlight of the past 19 years has been seeing teams of different sizes, shapes and sexes coming together for a common goal.

"It's great that we are all doing our role, and each time everyone has come home safely."

Luke Woodger

Involved in the station for two months, Luke is one of the crew's newest recruits.

His father was a NSW firefighter so he has been in and around that lifestyle which spurred him to throw his hat in the ring.

"I want to lend a hand and help my community because everyone needs to do their part," he said. "Some people can and some people can't."

Although Nick still has some training to complete before he can officially go out in the truck to a job. He looks forward to saving someone's life in the future.

 

 


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