Orielton Fire Brigade

The Orielton Fire Brigade opened in 1951 by Rex Kemp to look after the fires in the valley. It moved to Sorell then back to Orielton in 1990. The new building began in 1990, was built by Charlie Macthie and cost $2000 to build it all with a double shed. The first owner was the Tasmanian Fire Service, and they had a Dodge fire truck.

 The biggest fire was in 1967 at the Orielton Musket Mill. They were there for 8 hours then they called back because of saw dust going in their eyes. It lasted 6 days long. They have had no one die in fires yet.

Midway Point Fire Brigade

The Midway Point Fire Brigade was opened in 1970 by a man named John Lions.

The Midway Point fire brigade was re-opened on the 1st of April 1994.
The Midway Point Fire Brigade runs a junior fire fighting program for kids aged 10 and above.
They built the fire station there because they needed one after the 1967 fires that occurred in the area.

They have had around about nine chiefs in the past.
The first chief was Mr Jack Quarrel.
The present chief’s name is Mr Andrew Dare (2007).
In 2007, there were 28 members and 9 of them were ladies.

During 2007, they put out 78 fires. During 2008, they put out 205 fires.
There are 2 trucks at the fire brigade. One of them can hold 3000 litres and the other can hold 1300 litres
They haven’t saved many cats yet.

The way that they know that there is a fire is that they have a little thing called a pager. It tells them where the fire is.
They have to wear yellow or orange overalls so in a big bush fire they can be seen better.

To find out more about the current Midway Point Volunteer Fire Brigade, check out their Facebook page here.

Ben Lynch brings the fire on his property under control.

Information gathered by students when interviewing Mr Danny Reid & Mr Peter Krakowski in 2008

Denison Canal at Dunalley

The Dunalley Canal also known as the Denison Canal was first opened in 1905 by Governor Gerald Strickland who sailed all the way from Hobart on 13 October to officially open the canal.

At the opening of the canal up to 30 boats were waiting to go through. It was worth the wait. So many families moved to the small community to work on the project, it was described as resembling a newly discovered goldfield. Gangs of up to 50 men shovelled soil, clay, gravel and rock into railway wagons, then into punts which dumped the material at sea.

The longer route costs fishermen about an extra $150 in diesel each way. But they believe the community of Dunalley is experiencing greater financial woes. Dunalley suffered in the last few years in the fact that boats can’t call in here now because they can’t get through the canal. And it has a large impact on some of our local businesses, like the canvas maker and things like that.

In a few months this situation could all change because the Tasmanian Government has announced it will dredge this area of the canal before the centenary. The fishing industry believes the Government should dredge the canal regularly arguing it would cut costs, but MAST (Marine and Safety Tasmania) says it won’t be necessary for another 20 years.

This time, the overall project, including all the costs involved, is going to cost the Government about $200,000 to dredge the canal and of that, there’s physically three days dredging which comprises about 25% of the cost. The remainders all the set-up cost. Now you wear those costs whether you dredge once every five years or once every 20 years. This time, the dredging process probably won’t result in Dunalley resembling a newly discovered goldfield, but the community believes it will give them a brighter future.

Further information:

ABC Report in 2005

Another report in 2005

1905 ‘EAST BAY NECK CANAL. THE OPENING CEREMONY.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 14 October, p. 6. , viewed 28 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12322228

Blog post including photos by Geoff Ritchie

Dodges Ferry Fire Brigade

Dodges Ferry fire station opened on April 1993. It was opened by Dr Frank Madill. He was the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.

The first chief was David Wells. The chief in 2008 was Chris Wilson, 2 Grant Hawkes, 3 Adam Hall, 4 Chris Suckling. The leading fire fighters were Micheal Olive, Olive Torenius and Carmen Zeralla. In total, there were 37 people in the fire brigade in 2008.

There are 3 fire trucks in the station. The volunteers use these to do local burns and train for what they do.

From 2001 to 2007 there had been 453 calls. The biggest house fire was at Paneminner Street on the 27 October 2006.

The hottest fire was at Scenic Drive, Lewisham.

The biggest MVA Arthur Hwy.