Cessnock City Council to donate $4500 from Carols in the Park fireworks cancellation to Rural Fire Service brigades in Cessnock LGA

THANK YOU: North Rothbury Rural Fire Brigade volunteers Brett Douglas and Kelly Knox met with Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent after last month's bushfire emergency.
THANK YOU: North Rothbury Rural Fire Brigade volunteers Brett Douglas and Kelly Knox met with Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent after last month's bushfire emergency.

It's already been the summer from hell for Cessnock's firefighters, with four emergency-level bushfires in the local government area in the past four weeks.

And in these conditions, every dollar counts.

The Cessnock LGA's 14 Rural Fire Service brigades will each receive a donation of just over $300 from Cessnock City Council, after council voted on Wednesday night to re-allocate the $4500 it would have spent on fireworks for Carols in the Park.

Council cancelled the fireworks two days out from the December 6 event due to the bushfire emergency, and the whole event was cancelled on the day due to the fires and associated smoke.

Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent moved the donation request in a mayoral minute, noting that the fireworks were cancelled due to the current bush fire conditions and in respect to fire fighters and people directly impacted by the fires.

Cr Pynsent said the RFS crews in the Cessnock LGA were in great need of assistance, and the funds could go towards equipment.

"It's a small gesture to thank them for their magnificent work," he said.

North Rothbury Rural Fire Brigade captain Sonia Ivan said it was a "wonderful" decision by council to distribute the funds between the local RFS brigades.

Ms Ivan said the North Rothbury brigade would look to spend the funds on new equipment.

"It is possible with that amount (of money) to buy a leaf blower, which allows us to remove fine fuels from fire trails," she said.

"A blower can also fight small fires by putting out flames, which helps with our water usage."

Rural Fire Service brigades in the Cessnock area include Benwerrin, Bucketty, Central (Cessnock), Greta, Kearsley, Laguna, Millfield, Mulbring, Neath, North Rothbury, Pokolbin, Quorrobolong, Rothbury and Wollombi.

For more information about donating to the Rural Fire Service, or becoming a volunteer, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

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