MEDIA RELEASE - MP drives donations for Rural Fire Brigades

THANK YOU: East Maitland's Michael Cooper was the first to come to my office bearing donations for our hard-working Rural Fire Service volunteers.

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison is channeling the generosity of the Maitland community by opening her office to collect donations in support of our Rural Fire Brigades.

Ms Aitchison said her office had fielded many calls, emails and messages from people who wanted to help support the brigades, and their volunteers, during the worst fire season in living memory.

“Our Rural Fire Brigades are so busy keeping us, and our properties, safe that they simply cannot spare people to collect much-needed donations,” Ms Aitchison said. “My office will serve as a collection point and I will deliver the donations to brigades in our community.”

Ms Aitchison’s office is located at 2/12 Elgin Street, Maitland.

Ms Aitchison said that people could choose to donate money or groceries in support of the drive, and she would deliver the donated items to the Thornton, Maitland Vale, East Maitland, Bolwarra-Largs and Lochinvar Rural Fire Brigades.

“Our firefighters are working incredibly long hours in brutal heat,” Ms Aitchison said. “The fire trucks must be provisioned with enough resources to feed and hydrate crews for up to 12 hours.”

The following items are very useful:

  • 600ml water bottles

  • 200ml long-life full cream and lactose-free milk

  • 600ml electrolyte drinks such as Powerade or Gatorade

  • Sqwincher electrolyte sachets or similar

  • instant coffee sachets, and

  • non-perishable foods in individual serving sizes (peaches, spaghetti, nut bars etc).

Cash donations can be deposited at any Westpac, or online here. These funds will go directly to the Rural Fire Service and be used to cover operational costs associated with firefighting and running the stations.

People who want to donate their time and skills can register with BlazeAid, a volunteer-based organisation that helps rural Australians rebuild their lives after natural disasters such as fires and floods.

“I am continually humbled by the incredible generosity of spirit shown by the people of Maitland,” Ms Aitchison said. “I thank every person who has made contact with me, offering to help our firefighters during this unprecedented firestorm. This is one small way we can give back and show our gratitude.”

PICTURE: Many thanks to East Maitland's Michael Cooper, who was the first through the door with bags of donations for our hard-working Rural Fire Service volunteers.

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