Our People - Tony Wege

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Chance call to fire ground began CFS association for Tony


Tony Wege's chance calling to a fire ground back in 1980 began an association with the Country Fire Service (CFS) which has culminated in his being awarded a Queen's Birthday Australian Fire Service Medal.

During cricket practice in the Mid North back in 1980, club members were asked to help fight a fire west of Georgetown, and Tony found himself on the fire ground. Having started that night as a Gladstone Cricket Club member, he found himself on the Gladstone CFS truck, and finished as a member of the Gladstone CFS.

Impressed with the community aspect of it Tony found he knew plenty of people at the scene and it gave him new appreciation of the community in a disaster.

A member of Nuriootpa CFS and a retired high school teacher he has been a central figure in local and State CFS operations.

As a contract training consultant he set up the basis of modern-day training, leading the team which wrote many CFS training courses. These days he can visit any station in SA and see the end result of the work he started.

Tony became Deputy Group Officer with Angaston & District Group in 1999, remaining in the role for eight years, and assisting in setting up the Angaston Group Incident Coordination Centre.

At Glen Innes in New South Wales in 2002 he led the planning team which focused on determining the methodologies for fire attack at five simultaneously burning fires.

Tony says the hardest part of his CFS life has been attending road crashes.

"Major extrications at road crashes definitely take their toll on everyone concerned, particularly semi-trailer crashes they can be extremely difficult," he said.

A training officer and mentor for incident managers, Tony represents the CFS Volunteers Association on the SAFECOM Training and Development Committee.

He was also on the Region 2 Bushfire Prevention Committee.

Heavily involved with the work of the State Training centre at Brukunga, he led the trainers working there in the 1990s and acted as Regional CFS representative on the Regional Bushfire Prevention Committee.

A strong believer that older people like himself have a degree of wisdom to impart others, Tony looks forward to developing others knowledge for some years yet.

"Receiving this medal is an honour, but it is on behalf of the CFS I have accepted it," he said.

"The CFS has been a wonderful and important part of my life. I've made so many friendships and I could only recommend volunteering to others.

"Since that day back in 1980 when I was pulled away from cricket practice my life has been the better for being a small part of the organisation the CFS is.

"It is too easy to take things for granted, and the CFS is a wonderful part of our community which allows us to give something back."

120710 Tony Wege
Tony Wege

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