Braidwood Community Bank has funded the purchase of a thermal imaging camera for Mongarlowe Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigade. It’s the third purchase of a thermal imaging camera in the past year, with Bungendore Community Bank branch assisting Captains Flat and Hoskingtown RFS brigades with the purchase of two cameras.
The thermal imaging cameras make it easy to detect hotspots in the ground and in tree trunks after a fire. Traditionally, these hotspots can go unnoticed or take a lot of time to find, so the thermal imaging cameras save the firefighters precious time and reduce the possibility of the blaze reigniting.
They are not standard issue for the local brigades, and are often outside their budget. Mongarlowe RFS has said their camera can be shared with surrounding brigades.
Nick Fry, branch manager at Braidwood Community Bank, says our local volunteer firefighters are our unsung heroes and deserve all the support they can get.
“Mongarlowe brigade approached me after they’d heard of the benefits of the thermal imaging cameras from the other local brigades. So I encouraged them to put an application into the bank for funding, and it was approved by the Board straight away.
“It’s a great machine for them, and it’s our little way of trying to assist them in the work they do. They really are incredible – they work so hard, and are out most weekends doing training on top of their regular jobs. NSW RFS is the largest volunteer organisation in NSW and I believe they are our unsung heroes.”
Braidwood Community Bank also funded the purchase of a portable freezer, which allows the brigade to take cold drinks with them when they are out fighting fires, and helped Farringdon RFS purchase new communication equipment.
“It helps us all along to help them. We’re in the middle of a drought, and over the past two weeks the Braidwood Brigade has been called out five times – in winter! But it’s because everything is so dry.”
Nick says that one of the prime objectives of community banks is to give a percentage of their profits back to the community. For Braidwood, this has resulted in the branch giving back almost $2 million across the past 16 years in sponsorships, donations and grants.
“For a little town we’re doing mighty well,” says Nick. “So many of Bendigo community branches are out in rural townships, and the more that people bank with us, the more funds we can hand back to community organisations, such as the RFS. People can actually see what happens around us when we have the funds to help amazing groups such as the local RFS. I would like to give them more!”
As with most other community banks, Braidwood opened up when all other banks in the area had closed down – leaving locals with no access to banking services.
“There are more kids in most Canberra high schools than there are people living in Braidwood! We’re a really close-knit town. When we (the bank) turned 15 last year, we bought a clock for the town which sits on our roof. It’s called Baby Ben and does the quarter hour chime and the hourly bong. It depicts the history of Braidwood with some of the characters on it. We did it to reinforce the town’s culture, and everyone loves it.
“The next time you head up this way, make sure you pay a visit and check it out!”
Braidwood Community Bank is located on Wallace Street in Braidwood.
To find your local community bank here in Canberra, pop into any one of the Canberra Community Bank branches in:
Curtin: 1/20 Curtin Place, Curtin. Ph: 6260 5140
Jerrabomberra: 2a/2 Limestone Dr, Jerrabomberra. Ph: 6299 8357
Wanniassa: Wanniassa Shopping Centre, Sangster Place. Ph: 6231 9024
Calwell: Calwell Shopping Centre, Webber Crescent. Ph: 6291 3385
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