DARLINGTON VOLUNTEER BUSHFIRE BRIGADE HISTORY
Darlington Volunteer Bushfire Brigade initially began in February 1948, as part of the Mundaring Road Board, and was given two knapsack sprays, bags, rakes, and 44 gallon drums to fight any fires with. The Darlington village at that time was mainly weekend cottages for Perth people. The Brigade, like many other local brigades ebbed and flowed with volunteers through the years till finally in 1965 it went into recess, as residents could not be coerced into any officer positions. The village was covered by the Midland Brigade for any house fires.
9 years later, in February 1974, Darlington again had a volunteer Brigade, servicing the residents from an old Landover truck with 3 x 44gal drums on the back of it, filled from an overhead stand pipe in Brook Rd. A short while later a 200lt fibreglass tank and pump were fitted and X-Ray Delta became their pride and joy, housed at various members homes.
In November 1979, the Pony Club were thinking of moving out of the small shed on the western side of the oval, so this became the new home of the brigade. In December 1980 a decision was made to improve the shed, after knocking down a couple of interior walls, space was created to make a bay for our vehicle and a kitchen, come bar, come meeting room.
In 1981 the Helena Valley Brigade disbanded, and we took over their truck and area of responsibility.
In 1984 Brigade members realised our shed was to small, so designed a new building for two trucks, meeting hall, kitchen, office, men’s and ladies toilets. Estimated cost $25, 000.00, all to be funded by the Brigade-no ESL; no Shire support. By the time we were ready to start in April 1988, the estimated cost now $50k, which was all raised by voluntary fund raising, and was built by the members. In 1995 the northern extension was built to house the Swan Regions BFS Communication bus, which was operated by Brigade members. This stopped in 1998 as most Regions now had their own ICV’s, and Darlington members formed into the Bush Fire Service Air Operations group, which was using a helicopter for aerial surveillance of fires, and reporting back through a ground based Air Intelligence officer to the IMT.
In 2003 with introduction of the Helitacs, Brigade formed a collar tank unit with its own support vehicle and trailer, with two collar tanks. In 2012, a three bay extension was built on the western side of the original station to house a Rural 1-4, and the one fast attacks that we currently have along with the Darlington support vehicle. Brigade members over the years have also contributed to the Mundaring Shire fleet by outfitting their initial communications bus; building the tanker component of their first tanker.
Today Darlington is a very strong and vibrant Brigade, with many active members. A regional resource that DFES….the Shire and the community can be justifiably proud of.