kock knockers

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 22:11
ThreadID: 29344 Views:2461 Replies:17 FollowUps:24
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We had the unfortunate experience to meet an over zealous CFA volunteer a few days ago.

Jenny and I were sitting at one of our favourite campsites (which we had been at with friends for a week) at about 9pm sitting in front of a nice fire, and in breezed some fool with his lights on full beam to inform us that we shouldn't have a fire.

I explained to this dimwit that we had chatted with the Ranger three times and we were observing the law, had buckets of water at the ready and would sensibly extinguish the fire at night before bed..

Mr Hero still wanted to discuss the point at which time he was politely asked to leave. He left.

The vast majority of CFA volunteers do a job that serves the community and saves property and lives. I commend them. Then there is the odd fool who joins the CFA for power and personal glorification. We happened to stumble across a fool, sad.

Jim.
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Reply By: Scubaroo - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 22:21

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 22:21
Hasn't there been a total fire ban in most or all of Vic for the past week? Assuming you're in Vic.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 22:25

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 22:25
No.

Like I said, we were observing the law.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 23:10

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 23:10
I thought the fire ban had been in since Saturday?
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 07:39

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 07:39
Its been in selected areas at selected times, not a blanket ban
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 08:47

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 08:47
No total fire ban anywhere in Vic today

fire ban map
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 08:55

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 08:55
further to that, most of vic is under a fire danger period during which a camp fire is allowed with restrictions

* It is fully contained in a proper fireplace or in a trench at least 30cm deep
* An area of 3 metres all around and above the fire is completely cleared of flammable material
* A person* is in attendance at all times
* The fire is no larger than 1 square metre
* The wind speed is less than 10kph (i.e. a light breeze that can be felt on the face and will rustle leaves on trees)
* The fire is not lit within 7.5 metres of any log or stump

It is important to have sufficient water on hand in case of emergency.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:20

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:20
Yeah, we followed all that Ray, but Captain Wanker was not aware of the law.

The poor little insignificant sod was just trying to exercise the only modicum of authority he has ever had in his life.

Whether or not he was a genuine CFA chap I can't be sure, he wasn't in uniform or carrying any identification.
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Reply By: Brian B (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 23:26

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 23:26
Jim,

Granted the guy you encountered may have been a bit over the top but calling him a dimwit, Mr Hero etc is probably a bit unfair.

These guys do a great job and have to deal with a wide variety of people some of whom are not very receptive to their presence and their ideas from time to time.

Just because you have chatted with the ranger does not mean that things may not have changed since that time and in any case the fire service in times of emergency can over ride what the ranger has allowed you to do. I dare say he was carrying out an instruction given to him by a more senior officer.

I don't know if this guys motivation for joining the job is power and personal glorification as in all my years in emergency services I don't see much of that happening at all especially in rural services where they are predominantly volunteers. I guess the only people who could make that judgement on him would be those that know him well and work with him.

In general it is a thankless job and they need to be cut a bit of slack.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 00:48

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 00:48
hear hear Brian, I bet these guys come across agro unreceptive people all the time, and these guys (volunteers) are often the ones who have the most to lose, being local farmers etc
He would have a good case to be "overzealous" if he has fought a few fires or cleaned up a couple of burnt bodies in the past.
His spin on it might be a bit different, and might think HE is owed an apology???!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 07:36

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 07:36
Brian,
just my 0.02c regarding CFA... I was approached in my area to act as a volunteer with the CFA. I went along to meet some of the guy's and discuss the requirements/responsibilities. From my limited experience, the guy's on the payroll were nice blokes who were very receptive and friendly to talk to but most of the volunteers(out of about a dozen in attendance) were tossers... Seemed to be more interested in talking about what hero's they were, couldn't directly answer any questions without a hero story and kept cutting me off with hero stories. Their actions while I was there made me question whether or not they had actually been exposed to any disaster or tradgedy and I felt that they were most likely not the guy's I wanted by my side in a life or death situation. As it happened, my shift rotation was a hinderance to training and they weren't keen to sign me up. I work with an ex-SES guy(very easy going and down to earth bloke) who left because of the conflicts he was having with(his words) "small minded blokes with low self esteem"

Not trying to tar all these guy's with the same brush and I mean no disrespect to members who are most likely doing a great and very professional job as volunteers. It's a shame that here as in many other aspects of life, a few tools can taint the image of the many who do a great job. As I said, just my 0.02c from a very limited experience.

I agree it's a thankless job and a service which many in the community take for granted. Personally, I have a great deal of respect for the people who are prepared to be on call 24/7 to deal with emergencies whether it be fire, storm damage, road accidents, whatever...
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:40

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:40
Blue,

I've worked with a few who behave exactly as you have said.

Some (and I say some) only get involved to deal with their lack of achievement and importance in life.

Men with small achievements and big egos.
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Follow Up By: Brian B (QLD) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 12:03

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 12:03
Hi Blue,

Sorry to hear that was how they were. For me I have spent most of my working life in the ambulance service and I work closely with fire, police and SES and will try and positively promote them whenever I can.

I'm not making excuses for the guy that Jim encountered but it is worth a minute to try and understand these jobs and the people who do them. These guys have a very different culture and it is shared over most emergency services. When I first joined the ambulance in 1982 I was totally gobsmacked at the conversations and behaviours that I witnessed while in the meal room etc and it is not until you work with these guys for a while that you accept that but it takes a while and some people never come to terms with it. It is a truly unique culture.

I never let that bother me too much as long as when there is a job on they get in and do it and treat people correctly. At the end of the day if their charcter is a bit over the top then I can accept that if their work is up to scratch. Obviously the "weekend warrior" type attitude is not the right one to have.

These jobs generate enormous amounts of frustration for staff at times. A good example is for a paramedic to see a car go past with unrestrained kids in it. The amount of our guys who will pull up next to that car in traffic and tell them it is unsafe to have the kids unrestrained and who then get totally abused is amazing. Some people might think this is the paramdic trying to be overzealous but the motivation comes from seeing the end result at times of unrestrained kids in car crashes.

I agree with you in that the vast majority do the right thing and like in all jobs there is a minority group of ratbags.

Happy New Year
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Reply By: Moggs - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 00:01

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 00:01
Hi there Jimbo. To avoid this situation next trip just make sure they cannot see the fire - close the heavy drapes in the formal lounge area of the van prior to lighting the log fire and settling in with a snifter of brandy on the chesterfield couch. ;-)

LOL, I can almost hear you "God damn it! I cut this bloody firewood....I am damn well going to burn it!"

Hope you had an enjoyable trip and all the best for the new year.
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Follow Up By: Sir Diamond - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 12:38

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 12:38
gday mogs.
no he didnt cut the wood lol.
we stole a heap of wood from another camp spot after they had left.
we were not happy that we couldnt burn it before we left but im sure jimbo did a great job for the rest of us.
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Reply By: Member - 'Lucy' - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 00:59

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 00:59
G'day Jimbo.

Happy new Year to you and yours.

By the way, did you have the GMC gennie screaming its guts powering your electric chainsaw when your 'friend' turned up.

And I hope the fire was a 10 second Ali can vapourising one and not some boyscout squibby thing.

Oh! and remember:

The only thing worse than a knee-jerk liberal is a knee-pad conservative

ROFLMAO

This will 'fire' the pill takers up.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:18

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:18
Robbo,

Do you mean knee jerk liberals or knee jerk Liberals. Two totally different species.

A knee jerk Liberal is similar to a knee pad conservative; all greasing up to those with power and money and crushing the battlers.
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Follow Up By: Member - 'Lucy' - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 22:50

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 22:50
Ah! jimbo.

What more can I say otherthan I luv your work, especially after you have had a 'tot' or three.

I reckon they are just a bunch of girls mate.

The bigger the chain saw, the more juice used to fire it up, the more dead wood burnt to get the fire to the apotheosis of heat emitting pyrotechnics, all the better I say.

Couldn't the galoot figure out that you had it under control.

Mate! these social engineers should be placed on the said fire and burnt at the stake.

There is always someone wanting to comment on what others do.

Look at poor old Willem for example, just because he blew a moggy through the wall with a 'tonne' of buckshot, the bleeding hearts came out in droves and had the post eliminated.

Other cootas like to drive the desert with 80psi in their tyres and out come the so called 'sand devils'

I'll catch you at you next Bon Fire soiree. (Go Guy Jimbo - just hope they don't hang, draw and quater you like old Fawkes'y)
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Reply By: Member - Athol (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 06:55

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 06:55
Jimbo,
from past experiance the CFA and the NPWS dont allways agree on strategies for fire fighting or management of fires (read left hand dos"nt know what the right is doing).
And also just because you say youve spoken to a "ranger" how was he to know , Just trying to do his job.
Anyway just be a little more sensible in the bush because it would be sad to read about it in the news -" People perish in bush , trapped by bushfire"-

Just my opinion!!!!!

Athol
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Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 09:31

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 09:31
Geez Jimbo,

Knowing your fires, the dryness of the area, the comments from the DSE Ranger on four occassions, and the amount of wood that was in the pile, maybe the CFA volunteer was justified in his comments. He may have had a property nearby and could have been worried about the ramifications of a fire that became out of control.

On an aside, I hope Jen and yourself had a romantic evening under the millions of stars, all alone, by the fire, with a bottle or two of wine.....or was it that you were "interrupted" by the volunteer and that is what has made you a tad bitter?...hahahaha

Cheers

Glenn
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Reply By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 09:33

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 09:33
Must be something wrong with me. I would think it to be dangerous and irresponsiple to have a fire this time of year even if there wasn't a total fire ban.

It's an attitude thing I guess - if you've been brought up in a "no fire during summer" environment you see things differently. Over here in WA there is absolutely no question - no fires at all during summer - no exceptions. Even if we are having a mild summer (and this year so far we haven't had any summer) there is an absolute total ban on fires.
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 01:37

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 01:37
Hi JayGee,

Agree with you entirely, only a real d***head would consider lighting an open fire in the middle of summer anywhere in Australia

Perhaps the WA system (Absolutely no fires) is one reason why we don't have the massive outbreaks reported recently in the east.
Of course there are always fires started by lightning and (heaven help us) by lunatic arsonists. Not much one can do about those fires but otherwise no bloody fires in summer. full stop.

Generally speaking, WA seems to be much more bushfire conscious than t'otherside.
Keep our fingers crossed, watertanks full and be prepared.
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Reply By: Barnray - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 12:13

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 12:13
Follow this link it does make interesting reading. Barnray
http://www.4wdmonthly.com.au/forum/index.php?board=17;action=display;threadid=15098
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Reply By: gramps - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 17:18

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 17:18
Jimbo,

I'd suggest the guy has probably had far more experiences with yobbos and wankers regarding campfires than with sensible people like yourself. Don't be too hard on him. He was probably only trying to do his job (voluntary) as he saw fit.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:34

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:34
Yes Gramps,

But it was his agressive, supercillious approach that got under my skin.

Had he approached a less passive chap than myself, he might have been eating his food through a straw for the next six weeks.

Silly little man he was.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: gramps - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 00:32

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 00:32
Now I understand. Sorry mate, should have realised he'd have to be a raw prawn to get under your skin so badly.

Regards
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 17:51

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 17:51
goodday jimbo
having recently met and you seem pretty sensible during my days with the cfa you would have met with a tanker and crew fire out with our hoses and argue the toss after, at any time during summer and especially at this time with things so dry.
we have just endured a day of phone calls to make sure all freinds at stawell were ok mate tells me our former small acreage up there was burnt out

steve
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:06

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:06
are you saying you guys went around putting out perfectly legal camp fires ?
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:28

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:28
Fair call Ray.
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Follow Up By: GOB & denny vic member - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:18

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:18
gents
i started my cfa life in warrandyte which as part of region 13 had a fire rating similar to california at this time of the year" highly explosive'"under a tough captain at this time of the year all fires were put out and you could argue with him (but i bet you didnt win ) unlike this time of politial correctness etec etc etc ..if you would like to talk about fires and firesfighting etc feel free and i agree there a lot of volunteer wankers but about 98%of the volunteers are there for your good and the good of our country that you like to drive around in
those of you who live in country towns or even close to the cities would be in a lot of trouble if those wanker volunteers and their mates decided that they were all going to give it away

think about it
or try chasing a spark form 1 small fire for days and watch it burn out the country side
in answer to your question ray YES

steve
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Reply By: OldMike - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:02

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:02
I would say that you were very lucky that the wood was still dry enough to sustain a fire. If you had been in our area the local tanker would have emptied about a thousand litres of water on your 'camp fire'. if you live in the bush and have to deal with fire that WILL destroy you, you will ask questions later!

Have had to try to control large blazes started by sparks from camp fires far too many times. Vic should have blanket fire ban for summer.

And yes I did have my own fire tanker when we were on the farm. Don't wait around for the fire to really get going.

regards
Mike
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:59

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:59
And I might have emptied a thousand rounds into your tank LOL.
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Reply By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:13

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:13
I reckon Blue pretty well summed it up.
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Follow Up By: Glenn (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:36

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:36
What....... I was way off?
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Reply By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:19

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:19
After 3 or 4 days chasing fires I would be very abrupt with anyone with a campfire alight in our area. Have had this happen with a traveller a few days after christmas a few years ago.
Cheers
Charlie
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:45

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:45
No need to be abrupt.

Observe the law.
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Reply By: Jimbo - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:10

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:10
Most interesting how people without any idea of the situation make outrageous statements.

Here are the facts:

It was dark and about 20 degrees
The wind was still
The fire was contained in a cast iron fireplace on a concrete slab
The surrounding area was dirt
We had two buckets of water at the ready
The creek was 20 meters away to allow access to more water
IT WAS NOT A FIRE BAN DAY

And, the Hero who tried to intimidate us was an agressive, obnoxious, old prick.

And finally, we were observing all laws.

Is anyone getting it????

I'll say again, IT WAS NOT A FIRE BAN DAY.

Get on with your lives....ROFLMAO
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Reply By: Member - Pezza (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 22:31

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 22:31
Hmmm, seem to remember a little while ago someone having a go at me about being judgemental of others, even went to the extent of making a whole new post about it ( 26848, link didn't want to work ) to be sure he was heard.

Ok for you but not for others Jim?

Pezza

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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:47

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:47
Pezza,

Do you participate in Archery?

Because Fair Dinkhum, you are drawing a long bow.
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Reply By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 09:28

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 09:28
It is you who is missing the point. The fact that there was no fire ban is an excuse - not a good reason for having a fire. It doesn't matter how many safeguards you take with a fire - there is no possible way a fire during summer can be 100% safe.

The fact that your State Government is stupid enough not to impose a total fire ban in summer, that you have to put up with idiot volunteers - does not mean you have to compond the idiociy of a stupid situation and light a fire.

If you don't have a culture of "no fires during summer" it is no wonder why there are consistently more devasting bushfires over east than here in WA.

The volunteer guy you met may have been a idiot - but I think your state Government and your overall culture that makes you think "you have a right to a fire as long as there is no fire ban" is even worse - and I feel no sympathy for your situation.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:48

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:48
You would have got along well with Captain Marvel ROFLMAO
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Reply By: fisho64 - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 01:52

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 01:52
Mate it may be that 10% only (or whatever the heck it really is) are caused by campfires, but this is the easiest 10% to eliminate (but after listening to the attitude here though it might be easier to ban lightening??)
Just like with speed limits, just cause it is 110 kmh max doesnt mean its smart or intelligent to drive at that speed when its foggy etc.
As has been said here already, it is pretty well accepted here in WA that you dont light fires in the summer.
The way you carry on, you expect CFA to get a lawyer to examine if your fire is legal or not?
It appears there are people who think they can or have to do these things because no one has told them NOT to? then complain at the proliferation of signage, rules etc?
Get over it, find who the fire guy is and apologise to him, you never know he might even accept it, being the festive season and all.!!!

AnswerID: 146930

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