70 kms from Albury, Woomargama State Forest, was the site of a large bush fire during December 2014. The Albury RRT received a call on Tuesday 16th December 2014 at 6:15pm, from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS). They requested meals for fire crews that night, who were tirelessly working to bring a bushfire under control. Believed to have been started by lightning, the blaze was burning over 1000ha of steep and rugged bush land.
RRT arrived on the scene shortly after 9:30pm and immediately established a catering area at the intersection of Tunnel Road and River Road where up to 18 fire trucks and crew were able to come safely for food and drinks. In less than 30 minutes, freshly made hamburgers were ready to be served for up to 50 fire fighters. The Albury RRT team remained at the catering area serving meals until 12:30am Wednesday morning.
6:00am Wednesday morning they were back to serve breakfast. Light snacks and drinks were supplied throughout the morning. A tasty lunch of cold meat and salad rolls was most welcome by the exhausted Firies.
A call came through from NSW RFS to say there were 10 pilots refuelling at the Woomargama Station and they needed a packed meal so they could take them in their helicopters. These were quickly organised and delivered to the Woomargama Station(the original Farmhouse for the area). They asked for these to be left in an esky for the pilots to retrieve at their convenience, and extra drinks were left on ice so they could get cold water throughout the day/evening.
The fire fighters were very thankful and appreciative for the support provided by RRT during the Woomargama State Forest fires. Some of the comments that were received were;
“We have never had meals like this before when fighting fires.”
The RRT supplied an evening meal to the NSW RFS teams that had been working through Wednesday afternoon. The team were advised that the fire had been brought under control by water bombing helicopters and ground crews, and that they weren’t expecting the RRT to cook breakfast for them on Thursday morning. Altogether 4 meals were served for between 40-60 firefighters each time.