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    HELPING HANDS: BlazeAid volunteers at Dadswells Bridge, from left, Andrew Almond, Jan Hatcher, Wayne Richards, Kevin Velthuis, Heather McKenry, Stuart McKenry, Stan Rasmussen, Lyn Rasmussen and Andy Pitman. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Dadswells Bridge and Pomonal search for volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help BlazeAid repair fencing on fire-
affected properties at Dadswells Bridge and Pomonal.

BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with landowners in rural Australia after natural disasters.

Dadswells Bridge co-ordinator Lyn Rasmussen said there were seven volunteers on site this week – including Wimmera residents and visitors.

“Volunteers are needed out on the fence lines and to cook,” she said.

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“I would anticipate we’ll be out here for a couple of months.

“In saying that, a lot of landowners are waiting for insurance – to see whether they qualify or what they get if they are insured.

“But we are also looking after Pomonal as well, so we’ll be running between the two. A lot of the Pomonal ones are smaller landholdings so they are not going to take the days that are needed on the bigger properties.”

Mrs Rasmussen said landowners were helping by assisting BlazeAid volunteers.

“One of the lovely things you notice is volunteers and landowners form great friendships,” she said.

Mrs Rasmussen said the most important skill a volunteer could have was the ability to listen to the team leader.

She said people of varying levels of fitness volunteered with BlazeAid, and needed to remember to take breaks and rest during work days.

“As long as you are capable of walking along a fence line – you don’t need to be able to run marathons,” she said.

“The day usually starts with breakfast at 7.30am, and then we get out about 8.30am and are back between 3pm and 4pm.

“Whether it be two days, a week or a fortnight – whatever people want to give would be appreciated.”

 Mrs Rasmussen invited community and service clubs to contact her if they could assist.

“Even casseroles or pies that we can re-heat would be good,” she said.Mrs Rasmussen said volunteers were shouted lunch at Horsham RSL on Sunday – their day off.

“The community has been good – we’ve had people from Stawell drop things to us and cakes from Horsham,” she said.

People interested in volunteering with BlazeAid can call Mrs Rasmussen on 0409 804 844.


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