Family Friend MFS station recognised

MFS AWARD: Mount Gambier MFS officer Darren McPhail and Harper, (back left), and firefighter Tim Lawson with Arlo and Madison, Harrison and Rhi-arn as they celebrate the award.

Charlotte Varcoe

MOUNT Gambier Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) has received the Family Friendly Regional Station award at this year’s regional proficiency and safety audit.

Across the state, 17 MFS stations participated in the annual assessment process which allows retained firefighters the opportunity to showcase their skills, community spirit and commitment to public safety.

Mount Gambier MFS station officer Darren McPhail said members were ecstatic to receive the award following a difficult number of years.

“It was great to have the opportunity to actually have family members in the station and conduct orders while putting on a show for them,” Mr McPhail said.

“Once the regional stations were completed we got a notification of the results and we were very happy with ours.”

He said a major benefit of the day was being able to remain focused on giving back to the families and the sacrifice they make.

“Being part-time firefighters we could be in the middle of anything and suddenly the pager drops and we need to go off running,” Mr McPhail said.

“Which means the family is left behind to keep doing whatever activities they are doing at the time.”

He said it was fantastic to be able to recognise these sacrifices and be able to give back to the families.

“Being a firefighter can be an emotionally tolling job and having family to come back to makes it easier for us,” he said.

“Whereas the families that are left behind with half finished jobs – such as shopping – while we respond to the emergency it can be tough.

“But our families remain supportive of what we do, they know we are contributing to the community and doing the right thing and it is fantastic how supportive they are.”

The station officer said the local MFS crew tries to do as many activities with family members as possible, including a social club and getting families involved with open days.

“With restrictions the last couple of years it has been tough,” Mr McPhail said.

“However with Covid-19 restrictions lessening we will be able to do more, such as with the competition.

“It was a very last minute throw together night where the families could be involved and they had very short notice but they still got to witness their loved ones in action alongside running commentary.”

Mr McPhail said crew members would continue to acknowledge and appreciate the support and sacrifices family members make when their loved ones were called out in an emergency.