Zac helps fight recent bushfires in his community

Our diesel mechanic apprentice Zac Rodrigues recently supported his local Numinbah Valley community during devastating bushfires. Zac is a volunteer firefighter and took three days off work to help prevent fires from spreading further.

"I've been a trainee in the Numinbah Rural Fire Brigade for four years, since I was 16, and this was my first big fire. During the night, I was on the ground with the firies, helping with the hoses, patrolling the area to ensure there were no new flare-ups and cleaning up after. During the day, I would run food up to the firies. The community got really involved in cooking and baking for everyone, so I'd make sure that food got to the people on the ground."

"The fire did destroy Binna Burra Lodge, which was terrible, but we stopped it from destroying any homes. It was a team effort - the urban firefighters were doing structural protection, there were aircraft water-bombing the fire, and our brigade fought the actual fire. It got pretty close. The scariest thing was hearing the trees cracking and falling, but not knowing where they were falling."

Zac has lived in Numinbah Valley all his life, and is pleased he's now able to help out in the brigade.

"My stepdad is fire warden and mum is secretary of the fire brigade, so I've wanted to get involved since I was a little kid. It's good to see the community come together during times like this, and I'm pleased I was able to do my part. It's important to me that I chip in."

Zac says he is grateful Frizelle Sunshine Automotive were supportive of him taking time off work to volunteer.

"They had no problems at all with giving me the time off. That means a lot to me, and I know the community was appreciative that there were more people on the ground to help fight the fire. I wouldn't have felt right if I wasn't there helping."

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