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Messages: 1 until 15 of 16
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7:34pm 10-08-2014
Paul Fazekas
Hello Kevin,

I stumbled on to your site and noticed you had posted my poem (Footprints In The Black). Just curious as to how you came by it.

PS. Lots of good work putting everything together!

Paul R Fazekas
3:45pm 08-29-2014
Peter Hall
Hi Kevin, Love your pics & collection. Appreciate all the work you put into it. I have been a full time firefighter in Durban Fire (Now called Ethekwini Fire) South Africa for the past 26 years now & have no plans of retiring yet. (It's in the blood )
1:16pm 08-17-2014
Paul J. Bannan
G'day Kevin,
Johnny of Flowerdale was written in honour of my Mate Lt Peter Auty of the Flowerdale Rural Fire Brigade, he served with that Brigade for many years, seeing service in both Victoria and into New South Wales. As volunteer firefighters he and I deployed on our Brigade tankers together on many strike team (5 Tanker) deployments. He was one of the Bravest Firefighters I have had the privledge to serve with. He wrote poetry and many of his poems can be read on Like many who saw deployment on that day where 173 Victorians died, he wore the scars of that service till he died.
11:31am 08-17-2014
kevin parris
Hi Paul couple of great ones you have here, i will get them up as soon as possible.
9:00am 08-17-2014
Paul J. Bannan
Here's a couple from Australia, written after Black Saturday.. No copyright infringement.. I wrote them. Great webite.
Johnny of Flowerdale.

I knew Johnny when he was a green new chum.
Keen to learn – Never found him sitting on his bum.
Trained together on group exercises, learning to save the water.
And how to protect homes not made of bricks and mortar.

Deployed near an’ far, up to the New South Wales’ border.
Gotta pity the poor strike team leader, trying to keep us both in order.
On the fire line, our tankers followed wheel to wheel.
Amongst the smoke and ash we stood, heel to heel.

Over the years, we shared many a chat and a well earnt smoke.
Banter always flowed easy – each ready to wear a joke.
On the job, we relied on each other to guard each other’s back.
As we fought the hated enemy, along an overgrown burning track.

Johnny made us laugh and stopped us being glum.
Always up to mischief and looking out for fun.
In Gippyland, we “borrowed” a tanker and went off drowning worms.
When the fish weren’t biting, entertained us with rhyming words.

Johnny had a better gift of the Gab and for writing verse.
Helped him out of the darkness and to beat the Blue Dog’s curse.
For he saw service here and elsewhere on that dreaded day.
Only one of us made it back into Flowerdale upon Black Saturday.

Johnny was no New chum – He had served before.
Kilted legs supporting a body, that was steel to the core.
Kept on fighting battles – toe hard against the line.
Played it tough, knowing he was almost outa of time.

Yes, Johnny – been before, was a Man amongst Men.
We are Honoured, Those, whom he called Friend.
Flowerdale should be proud of Johnny – never leave.
Sad are we now that he has, How our hearts do grieve.

Johnny – Unsung Hero, You saw and fought more than your share.
That load upon your shoulders was difficult to bear.
Well as of today it’s gone, like wind swept Class A foam
Johnny of Flowerdale, You’ve been released, Head on Home.

© Paul J. Bannan
Yea 2013

The tanker crew that night consisted of:
Lt. Rod Carbis... Crew Leader
Lt. Paul J. Bannan... Driver

Tiffany Vincent... Fire fighter
Ben Dean... Fire fighter
Terry Collins... Fire fighter

A Solitary Tanker...
There's a Solitary tanker heading south over the hills.
Crewed by three brave souls an' two bloody dills.
To be blest by some, abused and cursed by a few.
Went 'cause they were needed, into what? couldn't guess or knew.

Edged a slow path through endless smoke to atop Junction Hill.
Driving up there even now, down their spine, sends a chill.
Crew leader saying, "We'll be alright, Have faith in what ya know".
Scene that awaited them, taken straight from Dante's Inferno.

How did they come to be on top of the crest looking upon this dreadful sight?
For amidst the noise an' chaos that passed for communication that fateful night
An urgent request for assistance had somehow been understood an' received.
What might be awaiting them not thought about nor even perceived.

News bulletins, broadcasts, a town full of Refugees an' confused souls.
Smoke so dense couldn't see the lit up street lights on top of light poles.
They knew what was happening an' that Hell was waiting for them to call.
Here was their moment, time to pick it up an' run with the ball.

Off they went, beacons flashing, heralding their way upon the road to Flowerdale.
Eyes the size of dinner plates, faces on arrival soon to turn pale.
Down off that hill, groping their way thru windblown sparks an ash.
Too dangerous to rush, must be the slowest on record, that mercy dash.

Every tree a flaming tower of roaring flame an' ember.
Each fallen branch an' pothole sent thru their nerves a tremor.
In every direction, it appeared that all was burning an' ablaze.
Total ruin an' devastation met their eyes no matter where they gazed.

Thru Twenty kilometres an' miles of nerve wracking track.
Never giving breath to the thought "Mightn't make it back"
Passed the Primary school, surrounded by raging flame.
If asked, "It's gone", would have seemed a justified claim.

Limited vision poking along thru the smoke, sparks an' ash.
Praying that there was naught ahead into which they could crash.
Picture their surprise when thru a dark patch they arrived at the pub!
Bunch of lads out front drinking, watching the burning scrub.

"We've saved the pub", over the roar of Black Saturday fires, they screamed.
Had a heck of a fire break round it, paddocks overgrazed, picked clean.
Paused a minute, checked on their welfare an' that of the crew.
Off again at snail's pace, eyes an' noses running as if with the flu.

After what seemed eternity of passing thru the gates of hell.
What awaited them upon arrival made them sicken an' unwell.
It seemed Flowerdale was totally engulfed, burning from end to end.
A shock to all the senses, threatening to snap minds around the bend!

Overwhelmed at the start, not too sure what to tackle first.
Throats acid from sucking in smoke and dry with raging thirst.
Situation accessed, tasks allotted and orders given.
"Save what's still standing, forget what's already smitten"
Said farewell to Flowerdale's captain, he followed us out, all the way.
He and his tanker had been deployed elsewhere on that day.
Handshakes all round, a tear or two whilst wishing him well.
Only daughter was here somewhere amongst this earthly version of hell.

With only 3,000 litres of fire fighting water they did what they could.
Extinguished the fire around the CFA shed, that car belonged to Glen Woods.
Remounted the truck to assist a chap protect a home on Silver Creek Drive.
Flames an' embers licking all round, like angry wasps from a hive.

Not another house still standing, from what they could see.
Burning remains of many others blocking their visibility.
Faces gone from pale to scorched red from heat an' flames.
Should have done more, has been a heartless bastard's claim.

Limited water an' still burnt survivors to find.
Fate's clock was ticking, they were runnin outa time.
Then from somewhere or someone, The word finally got through.
The survivors were up on the main road, awaiting rescue.

Crew safety level, came an' went it's what they chose to do, left 600 litres.
Made the decision, "It should be enough for whatever awaits us".
Left that home up on Silver Creek Drive, it's standing still.
Crew depressed, one in tears, others feeling rather ill.
Off in search of those survivors - Found 'em! Aldo and his Courageous son.
Deserves recognition, cared for his father, though he had lost two siblings and his Mum.
Neither in flash condition, must have been ugly going thru what they went thru.
Gave what treatment that could be given, then up in the back with 'em three brave crew.

Wish it was possible to state that it was a pleasure trip back.
Seemed to stretch on forever an' ever, that burning, debris covered track.
Numerous calls for assistance, sent over the ether in vain.
No reply received, can only imagine Aldo's and his son's pain.

So they returned, under beacons flashing, prepared for what may come their way.
Every tree still a tower of flame an' ash, each lighting the road to Yea.
Finally reached the top of Junction hill, Almost home! What a thrill!
Relieved now that they had survived the gauntlet and their run thru the mill.

Halfway down met the Flowerdale tanker on its way out.
Going full bore only time for a brief wave none for a shout.
Arrived quietly back in station, nerves rattled, bodies quaking.
Handed over our passengers, Thank God the Ambos were waiting.

Saga almost over just a couple of parts left to tell.
For Flowerdale tanker pulled in behind, a fallen tree blocking the road to hell.
Told it was huge, a tanker killer, now believe in a babe born in a manger.
Still give Thanks, to the one unseen on the back... Yea tanker's Guardian Angel.

So who crewed that tanker, who answered the call for much needed aid?
The two Bloody dills should have known better, both officers of the brigade.
Them in the back, True heroes, as they pass pay them due respect.. stand tall
For I shall name them, These three Brave souls who answered the call.
They deserve at least that, cause I didn't take 'em to the pub to get tipsy or merry.
Should have got medals these Three, who travelled in the back...
Ben, Tiffany and Terry.
3:31pm 07-30-2014
Dave Loud
Whenever your called to duty
You’ll no not what you will find
Some of the things you see will alter your mind
Flames may rage and metal be twisted
Things you may have to do will never be listed
May you have the sharpness to be alert
So you can hear the weakest shout
To you have the courage and strength
To find and get them out
Then quickly and efficiently put
The fire out.

D.W.Loud 3539
11:24am 02-27-2014
Hey - I can't find a contact email for this site - I would like to ask some questions about an incident in 1988 - pls could you post your email on this board so I can contact you privately? Thanks, Lou
7:25pm 05-16-2013
11:12pm 04-04-2013
A wonderful resource for prayers and tributes
Kurt Gahan
Chaplain, Cherry Grove Fire Dept, Cherry Grove NY
9:26am 02-28-2013
6:51am 02-06-2013
Scott ONeill

I would like to talk to you about this page and what I am doing with Give me a shout out at or on
Thanks Scott
11:20pm 12-17-2012
Great page and a special thanks to all past firemen of Halling Station
6:56pm 08-06-2012
i get a lot names but dont see them on the guest book
9:25pm 06-19-2012
John Hanchett

As you are aware I served at Halling retained B6350 and ws crew member on NKK 340. I have aphoto of the crew at the time I was there if interested.
Replied on: 7:42am 06-20-2012

Hi John

Yes that would be great for a copy, i can put it up on the site if that’s ok.
Also any other info you may have would be great too. I:e service, shouts, any body that you know in halling fire service, other old photos to do with Halling brigade, any dates etc.

Many thanks for this

9:58pm 06-11-2012
please everybody, leave a message, at least i know this new guest book is working
Messages: 1 until 15 of 16.
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