East Timor fireys benefit from Capes donations

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Gordon Temby, Peter Pereira, Lynne and Brian Warren with Fran Temby and the supplies bound for Timor.
Camera IconGordon Temby, Peter Pereira, Lynne and Brian Warren with Fran Temby and the supplies bound for Timor. Credit: Sean Blocksidge Picture:

Under-equipped firefighters in East Timor are much better off now thanks to the generosity of local bushfire brigades.

A collection campaign which started in 2019 has finally delivered a shipping container loaded with personal protection equipment after a significant delay caused by COVID-19.

Wallcliffe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade bushfire ready co-ordinator Gordon Temby said the donated supplies would help colleagues who had suffered through the pandemic as well as damage caused by Cyclone Seroja.

“The East Timorese emergency services were very grateful for the assistance given to them by our volunteer firefighters,” he said.

“We can only hope this will assist them in some way, and help them carry out their duties in a safe and professional manner.”

Mr Temby said the mission started when Margaret River Rotary said it had spare capacity to deliver goods to East Timor as part of work to support communities connected to past Margaret River Senior High School end of year Leavers excursions.

Stories that East Timorese fireys were “critically under-resourced” sparked a collection across all Shire and Department of Fire and Emergency personnel.

“The East Timorese have been badly impacted by the Covid pandemic with 10,000 confirmed cases and 26 deaths from a total population of 1.2 million,” Mr Temby said.

“If this wasn’t bad enough, they were then impacted by Cyclone Seroja which resulted in food shortages, 45 deaths, and 4500 homes being destroyed.”

That devastation, and COVID-19, saw the shipping container held for almost 12 months.

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