Tag Archives: fire

Lady Volunteer Fire Spotters Today



This photo was taken by Ron Boyce at 18.25 on Wednesday 4.12.2002 as a bush fire spread across from Canoelands to Berowra. Stephanie deLeon is shown on duty in the Berowra Fire Tower monitoring the approaching fire.

There are about 8 women in the 30 member Berowra Tower Group which is part of the Hornsby-Ku-ring-gai Support Brigade of the NSW Rural Fire Service. Currently, the other women in this group with Stephanie are Sacha, Suzanne, Anne, Mary-Ann, Janice and Joy.

Duty is all year round and call ups can occur if there is a fire incident. In peak season everyone is on call. Most of the year the week day crew are on duty Tuesday and Wednesday and the week end crew on Saturday and Sunday.

Training is held throughout the year as ongoing competencies are essential.

Information generously provided by Stephanie de Leon

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Lady Volunteer Fire Spotters

smoke spotters 71002
The above item came from the Roundabout with Mary column of the 1971 Berowra District Newspaper.

Verilda Barnett revealed there were a handful of fire brigade member’s wives, like herself, who answered the call to be smoke spotters.
These ladies, shared this important role and child minding for each other in the 1970’s on total fire ban days.
Among the other ladies were a Pam, Shirley, Chris, Christine, Lyn, Sue,& Kay

 The Barnetts Road Fire Tower was the subject of an earlier blog on the 23rd of October 2015.
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The Barnetts Road Fire Tower

Barnetts Road Fire Tower

The above 8.5cmx5.75cm black & white photo comes from the collection of the late Pam Gartung (nee Corrigan),a longtime Berowra resident.

The fire tower shown was located out at what is now the Barnetts Road Reserve and Barnetts Look out. It was erected in the early 1960’s and used until about the end of the1980’s to watch for developing fires and report them. Other fire towers used in those years were built at Cowan and Canoelands  Now, our area has the Berowra Heights and Galston Fire lookout Towers.

The figure on the ladder draws the eye of the viewer. He seems to be wearing only swimmers, sunglasses, a shoulder bag & shoes! Must have been a hot summer’s day!


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Protecting Our Community

Ex-Army Ambulance, the Brigade's first vehicle seen on the Pacific Highway, Berowra.

Ex-Army Ambulance, the Brigade’s first vehicle seen on the Pacific Highway, Berowra.

Summer in Berowra can bring family gatherings for celebrations and for responding to bushfires!

Back in 1940 a request was made for a fire hydrant, reel and hose with a view to forming a Berowra volunteer Fire Brigade. 1943 saw the first officers elected and the birth of our Bush Fire Brigade.

During the war years petrol was rationed and the volunteers used their own vehicles.

In September,’46 the equipment list included:

8 Shovels, 15 Rakes, 6 Knapsacks, 8 Axes, 2 Canvas waterbags, 6 Hurricane lights (kerosene), 8 Brush hooks & 2 Garden hoses.

Hatfield boys with Betsy an ex-Military Fire Tanker used from 1949-1972.Top speed down hill about 40mph.

Hatfield boys with Betsy an ex-Military Fire Tanker used from 1949-1972.
Top speed down hill about 40mph.

Over the years equipment has certainly improved and increased!

We want to say thank to the men and women of what is now the Berowra Rural Fire Service and the Berowra Waters Rural Fire Service for their commitment to our community and beyond.

Thank you for 70 years of service!


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