Money raised via Celeste Barber's fundraiser for the Rural Fire Service have started to flow into brigade level.
During last summer's bushfire crisis, a Facebook fundraiser led by the comedian raised $51.3 million for the RFS, after she set an initial target of $30,000.
After a call to split the money between other states, organisations and communities, the Supreme Court of NSW ruled in May that all of the funds must be directed to Barber's nominated beneficiary, and RFS commissioner Rob Rogers said the money would be "prudently spent".
Quorrobolong Rural Fire Brigade has received approximately $10,000 from the fund, which it has used to upgrade radio equipment and install remote controls for the station's roller doors.
The remote controls means the doors can be operated from within the fire trucks, and members will no longer have to climb in and out of the trucks to open and close the doors, or haul the doors up and down by pulling on chains - making response times quicker.
Brigade captain Luke Crump said the modern upgrade was greatly appreciated by all.
"We would have never dreamed of it," he said.
"It's a big thing for us; it makes response times so much easier."
The Quorrobolong station, which opened on Heaton Road in 1987, was funded and built by the community.
The brigade currently has 26 active members, including seven who joined since last year's harrowing bushfire season.
There are almost 72,000 volunteers across 2000 Rural Fire Service brigades across NSW, including 14 brigades in the Cessnock local government area.
Anyone who wants to engage with their local brigade, or get advice on how to plan and prepare for the upcoming summer, is encouraged to do so on September 19 and 20, which is the NSW RFS Get Ready Weekend.
Some stations will hold open days while others (including Quorrobolong) have moved their events online.
Find out what's happening at a station near you at rfs.nsw.gov.au.
WE WERE THERE: The opening of the Quorrobolong Rural Fire Station made the front page of the Advertiser on July 22, 1987. Read the story below.
FIRST FOR QUORROBOLONG BRIGADE
Station creates Hunter record
On Sunday (July 26, 1987) a new record will be set for the Hunter's bush fire brigade movement, when a brick fire station is officially opened at Quorrobolong.
Within 12 months of establishing itself as a volunteer bush fire brigade, the Quorrobolong group has moved into its new station - a first for any brigade of this calibre.
The Quorrobolong group was formed on July 6th last year.
Cessnock's Mayor, Ald. Gordon Williams, will open the building at 11am.
President of the group Mrs. Lyn Whiting of Kitchener, this week praises the efforts, energy and enthusiasm of the 150 brigade members [no that's not a misprint], their families and friends who helped raise the money for the new building.
Mrs. Whiting also thanked Cessnock City Council for its help during the building process.
"In particular I would like to thank the 20 sponsors who donated more than $12,000 worth of materials and skilled labour needed to build the fire station."
The total cost of the station is estimated at more than $22,000.
A highlight of the station's opening will be a special appearance by Quorrobolong's oldest resident and one of the area's last bullock team drivers, Mr. Amos Whiting of Whitings Lane.
For four generations, Mr. Whiting's family has lived in Quorrobolong.
Ald. Williams and Mrs. Williams, council representatives and representatives from the 20 sponsoring firms will also attend the opening.
The Quorrobolong brigade, during the last 12 months, has already notched up more than 1800 hours of fire fighting training and hazard reduction in fire-risk areas.
Each year in NSW more than 72,000 volunteer bushfire fighters - unpaid and virtually unknown - spend hundreds of thousands of hours saving our forests, farms and small villages from the devastation of fire.
In the Hunter region more than 6000 volunteer fire fighters in the region's 370 brigades gave more than 63,000 hours in the 12 months prior to March 30 this year.
The new Quorrobolong station is located on Lookouts Road [now called Heaton Road] on the way to Heaton.