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Young Protectors

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The Elaine Fire Brigade members were acknowledged for their commitment to protecting their community during the Scotsburn fires in 2015. Photo – Shane Dunne
The Elaine Fire Brigade members were acknowledged for their commitment to protecting their community during the Scotsburn fires in 2015. Photo – Shane Dunne

By Kate Taylor

Five young Moorabool residents have had their bravery recognised with the local Young Citizens of the Year Award.

The recipients are Natasha Ford, Tristan Mair, Brady Dunne, Anthony Young and Matthew Wetherall.

Each young person trained as an Elaine Junior CFA Member in District 15, and was nominated as a group because of their commitment to protecting their community during the Scotsburn fires in 2015.

They had only just completed their recruitment training a couple of months prior to the fire – but the group stayed calm and focused on what had to be done, while working as little as 100m from the main blaze.

“They displayed exceptional team work, communication and courage and saved a number of properties as a result,” read the group’s nomination.

The December 19 fire occurred before last year’s Australia Day Awards, but after nominations had been closed.

Russell Ford not only trained the group, but is also the father of one of the recipients –Natasha Ford.

“It’s really fantastic for the kids to get this, they really did a lot of hard work when the fire was on,” said Mr Ford, who is the Buninyong Group Comms Officer.

“They’d all just turned 16 – normally when they join the brigade, they gradually work their way into it, but they got thrown in the deep end because of the fire at the time.

“They’re really rapt to be recognised.”