A Brief History of the Brigade
Professionally Protecting Our Communities for Life
~ Since 1947 ~
Williamstown Brigade is one of the oldest in the state, commemorating our 60 th Anniversary, as a registered fire fighting Brigade, in November 2007.
In the early years communities gathered together in times of emergency and helped there neighbours with what ever was available. In 1926, the Barossa Rangers Firefighting Association was formed to direct efforts of firefighting. George Warren of Springfield , was instrumental in this conception.
Back then, Williamstown's official fire fighting capability consisted of a pile of ‘wheat-bags' placed under a peppercorn tree on Mt Crawford Rd. This was later to include knap-sacks. When a fire broke out the first farmer to arrive with a truck threw them on board and headed out.
The first motor driven firefighting unit in the Williamstown area was designed and assembled by G. Warren, and for some years was the only outfit in the district.
The first E.F.S. (Emergency Fire Service) truck acquired in 1958 was an ex council 1956 Dodge Fargo 2WD.
A replacement truck arrived in 1964. A 1961 International 4X4, at the time a state of the art unit reported in the nightly TV news. Built by Wormald Industries in Adelaide it had a 600gal tank, and a Rex pump. A difficult truck to start normally, but when the siren sounded she always burst into life immediately.
Back in the seventies Cadets become an integral part of the Brigade, which continues to this day to be a source of senior members for the Brigade.
In 1983 Road Accident Rescue (RAR), became another aspect of the Brigades responsibility to our community and surrounding areas. The hydraulic rescue equipment was all manually operated. Stowed in a big wooden box at the station, it was thrown on to the fire truck when needed.
A second appliance was added in 1984. A Ford F350, 1000litre 4WD. Not long after a trailer was purchased to carry the rescue equipment, saving on back injuries from hefting the ‘big box'.
Eventually ‘Halmatro' rescue equipment replaced the old hand hydraulic pump, sparing the crew the hard work of operating the manual unit.
1987 signalled the arrival of a brand new Hino. This 3000litre 4WD appliance saw active service when a call came to a grass fire just 10 minutes after ‘truck familiarisation' had been started. This appliance is still in service at Williamstown.
A second new Hino truck, a 2000 litre 4WD was added in 1997, replacing the Ford F350.
The Williamstown 24 appliance was replaced in 2003 with the current Rescue appliance, Williamstown 24P. A turbocharged ISUZU 2000 litre, 4WD, fitted with a high performance pump. This unit is purpose designed to carry both rescue and fire fighting equipment. Keeping with tradition this unit was also responded within minutes of delivery
2001 saw a move from the cramped old station on the Mt Crawford Rd to our current facility, which became the Control Centre for the Barossa Group, and the new home of Williamstown CFS.
Today Williamstown Brigade has 40 plus Fire-fighters and a strong Brigade Operational Support team able to work together in adverse conditions. Not only bushfires and rescues, but flooding, car fires, search & rescues, animal rescues, and other emergencies, are always on the increase, requiring a well trained brigade.
As a fire-fighter responds to an incident, there are many support tasks, radio operators, catering, logistic management, and much more, needing attention. This is where our brigade depends heavily on the Brigade Operational Support Membership. Professionally, doing there part as a team to make our community a safer place.