Memories come flooding back for former fire station resident

EDITH Dargie, now 99, was living upstairs at the Lismore Fire Station during the 1974 flood.

The water came up the stairs to the second floor living area and all she and her husband, station captain Hector Dargie, could do was cross their fingers that it didn't keep rising.

Mrs Dargie was one of the special guests at a ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the fire station in Lismore yesterday.

The ceremony was scheduled for October but was postponed because a number of Lismore personnel were called to the devastating fires in the Blue Mountains.

Station officer Ian Grimwood said there was conflicting information about exact dates but roughly, a fire service was first formed in Lismore in 1886. In 1889 land was secured at the current site in Spinks Park. A temporary shed was built and the main part of the building which still stands today was constructed between 1910 and 1913.

NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins said from that time, the building had served as "a continuous sentinel, keeping watch over the city of Lismore".

"From hand-pumped engines on horse carts to the state-of-the-art fire engines, breathing apparatus and thermal imaging equipment we have today… one thing that hasn't changed is the dedication of the men and women who have served here," he said.

One of the fire crews was out on a call to a gas leak when the ceremony began and Commissioner Mullins said it was an example of how the fire service regularly stopped a minor incident from becoming a major disaster.

It was only in 2010 the Lismore station became staffed around the clock after heavy lobbying from the council, the community and Lismore MP Thomas George. There are now 38 permanent and retained fire-fighters based in Lismore who control operations for an area that extends to Casino and Mullumbimby.

Last year staff from Lismore were involved in around 600 callouts and 300 community engagement activities such as education sessions at schools.

At a glance

The following medals were also awarded to firefighters:

  • National Medal and Unit Commendation for Meritorious Service - Justin Hyde
  • Long Service and Good Conduct Medal - Scott Faulks
  • First Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal - Ian Grimwood
  • Second Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal - Rodney Farr
  • 2010/11 Queensland Flood and Cyclone Medal - Brett Lowden, Scott Pope, Richard Saad and Murray Ware


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