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Firefighters return to huge support

By Tara Whitsed

The Shepparton East CFA were donated almost $7000 after two Goulburn Valley Health redevelopment construction workers spent their holidays fighting fires.

Geschke employee Drew Fimmel and FiPro employee Dylan Corish attended various fire grounds throughout the state, including the large Corryong fire in the Upper Murray.

The pair work for companies contracted by Lendlease which is overseeing GV Health’s $229 million redevelopment.

“We'd sent members since New Year’s and we got back about a week ago,” Mr Fimmel said.

Mr Fimmel said they were largely responsible for asset protection and fighting ember attacks throughout the Upper Murray and beyond, also entering fire grounds on Mt Buffalo.

Mr Fimmel said he joined the brigade when he was just 14 years old, participating in fire running competitions until he could actively fight fires at 19 years old.

“I’m coming up on 10 years this year,” Mr Corish said.

Mr Corish said the support they had received from construction workers involved in the GV Health redevelopment since they returned had been amazing.

Workers gathered at a fundraising event recently where a fire pit was auctioned off for $350, added to the overall fundraising tally.

Shepparton East CFA captain Matthew Dwyer said the funds were invaluable and would be put towards purchasing equipment for the station and brigade.

He said they would purchase fire-safe undergarments for firefighters, a thermal imaging camera, nozzles and a new pressure washer with the funds raised.

“To get all this stuff would have taken years,” he said.

Geschke employee Gordon Thompson who was instrumental in raising the funds, alongside Lendlease site manager Robert McGregor, thanked Lendlease for their support.

“It’s a bloody good effort,” he said.

Mr Dwyer thanked all the construction workers for their support on behalf of the Shepparton East CFA.