By Claire Ottaviano
SWAN Settlers Market shoppers and vendors raised $5000 for West Swan Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade during the month of February.
The money will be used to buy data packs to help firefighters navigate remotely during emergencies.
Brigade secretary Jason Keirle said while the City of Swan funded the brigade’s equipment and maintenance, external funding was essential to invest in additional training and equipment above and beyond what was provided.
“The $5000 raised has been allocated to buy mobile data terminals to put in our three trucks,” he said.
“Instead of pulling out map books to where we’re going, we can have a tablet on the dashboard to see where everyone is in real time.
“If we need access to references for hazards in the area or updated maps, it’s all available on the cloud that we can download to wherever we are whenever we need it.
“It’s time saving but it’s very much a safety aspect from us to be able to get that information in real time.”
He said despite the tough conditions and quick moving nature of the fire, Emergency Services were quick to prevent it worsening.
“I am extremely proud of the fact nobody lost their lives,” he said.
“Once they got a grip on the fire and understood where it was and what it was doing, which happened fairly quickly, no more homes were lost.
“The various departments have also been very good in following up after, seeing what can we do now and what can we do better.”
Stallholders were given free rent for the weekend after the February 1 Wooroloo Bushfire and asked to contribute to the fundraiser and visitors donated at the door for the entire month.
Marketing and events manager Lauren Stuart said the Swan Valley Markets were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.
“The volunteers worked tirelessly in tough conditions, and we can’t thank them enough,” she said.
“We recognise how incredibly important these volunteers are to the safety of our community, they give their time to respond to fire emergencies but also do a tremendous amount of work helping people to prepare and plan for bush fires all year round.”
Carmelo Messina of Mr Cannolo donated two weekends of profits which raised more than $1600.