Central Rural Fire Brigade overwhelmed with support after vandals break air-conditioner at Cessnock base

RUDE SHOCK: Central Rural Fire Brigade senior deputy captain Veronica Bullen and the air-conditioner that was damaged by vandals over the weekend. Picture: Krystal Sellars
RUDE SHOCK: Central Rural Fire Brigade senior deputy captain Veronica Bullen and the air-conditioner that was damaged by vandals over the weekend. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Central Rural Fire Brigade was overwhelmed with support after the news broke that its air-conditioner had been wrecked by vandals over the weekend.

Kitchener resident Josef Krausert contacted Tanya and Steve at KO-FM, who shared the story on Tuesday morning.

By Tuesday afternoon the unit had been replaced and installed free of charge by Air Conditioning Newcastle Air Extreme, who heard the story on KO-FM and contacted the station to offer the generous donation.

Fire brigade senior deputy captain Veronica Bullen said the support they received on Monday and Tuesday was “unbelievable”.

The firefighters realised the unit was broken after they arrived back at the station late on Saturday night after helping battle the Racecourse Road bushfire.

The Advertiser shared the story on Facebook on Monday and the post reached more than 30,000 people, with 170 reactions and 236 shares.

EARLIER REPORT

7 Nov 2016, 3:33 p.m.

Volunteer firefighters from Cessnock’s Central Rural Fire Brigade thought they would arrive back to a nice cool office on Saturday night after 12 hours battling bushfires.

But the office was steaming hot instead.

The firefighters discovered the building’s air-conditioning unit on top of the building had been kicked in and was no longer working.

“It’s like a sweatbox in there,” the brigade’s senior deputy captain Veronica Bullen said.

“Now our hard-earned money from raffles and car washes will have to go to buying and installing a new one.

“We just got it re-gassed, and that doesn’t come cheap.”

Ms Bullen said anti-social activity is an ongoing problem at the South Avenue base.

Anyone who saw any suspicious activity around the station over the weekend should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

People wanting to donate to the brigade can contact John on 4990 1416 or Veronica on 4990 5597.

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