There’s nothing like an iceblock to cool you down on a scorching summer’s day – especially if you’ve spent a few hours battling bushfires in 40-degree heat.
When Kurri Kurri boy Will Stothard and his mum Leah drove past the firefighters near the town’s cemetery during the January 24 bushfire, he asked his mum what he could do to help.
“You could see they were exhausted, and Will asked if we could bring them some water,” Mrs Stothard said.
“I said we didn’t have enough water, but then Will remembered that we had some Zooper Doopers in the freezer.”
So they went home, loaded up and headed back to Hospital Road so the 12-year-old could deliver the icy cold treats.
“We were there filling up the tanker and up walks young Will,” North Rothbury Rural Fire Brigade captain David Seabrook said.
“He said, ‘would you firefighters like an iceblock?’ and we said ‘would we ever!’
“It was just what we needed to get up and get back out there.”
About six or seven brigades were there filling up their trucks, but among the commotion, they forgot to ask Will his name.
So the next day, the North Rothbury brigade turned to social media to thank the youngster for his generosity.
The Facebook post went viral – it was shared 9000 times (even by Zooper Dooper’s official Facebook page), and received more than 14,000 likes.
Before too long, the fire brigade had tracked down their ‘Zooper’ hero.
Mr Seabrook messaged Zooper Dooper’s Facebook page to share the story, and a couple of days later, two boxes of Zooper Doopers and merchandise were delivered to the fire station.
Will and his parents Leah and David attended the station on Tuesday, when the firefighters thanked Will for his kindness, handed over the gifts and took Will for a ride around the block in a fire truck.
North Rothbury senior firefighter Katrina Patch said Will is now regarded as “a bit of a legend” among the local firies.
“When you’ve done so much and faced some scary stuff, it brought a little bit of lightness to the day,” she said.
Have you seen the Zooper Dooper champion dance?
If you haven’t seen this gem, do yourself a favour.
We think DJ Bravo would say “Will is a champion, firies are champions...”