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Digital photograph - 'Fire Captains: Arthurs Creek/Strathewen', Black Saturday Bushfires, St Andrews, Victoria, 7 Feb 2009 Image Reg. No: MM 117100

Digital photograph taken by Trevor Boyd on the fire front at Hewitts Rd, west of Jacksons Rd, St Andrews at 4.06pm on Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, while on duty as a CFA volunteer. As 4th Lieutenant in the Plenty CFA brigade he led a tanker during the Black Saturday emergency and attempted to stop the fire front moving towards St Andrews. Trevor had three weeks leave from his paid work to assist in fire defence, searches, fire containment, mopping-up tasks and assisting bushfire survivors.Trevor intended that the CFA use the photos he took during the day as a teaching tool to develop volunteer firefighters situational awareness, and assist in their capacity to interpret, observe and redirect.

This photograph is one of ten images that Trevor offered as part of the community-led 'Bushfire Photo Exhibition' at the Bridges Restaurant/Nursery, Hurstbridge, held between February and March 2010. It is also published in the book 'Footsteps in the Ash' which documents St Andrews' and Strathewen's experiences during Black Saturday.
Digital photograph.
Statement Of Significance:
The bushfires of Black Saturday, 7 February 2009 caused significant damage to personal, community and state infrastructure.

This image evokes both the weariness and continued dedication of the volunteer firefighters. Without the hard work and personal sacrifice of the CFA and volunteer firefighters, the outcome of the Black Saturday fires may have had a greater impact on those living in the fire affected areas, as well as those resident in Victoria.

This photo's historical significance is demonstrated through its inclusion in the 'The Bushfire Photo Exhibition', held at Hurstbridge between February and March 2010, and, being one of nineteen pictures chosen to be published in the book 'Footsteps in the Ash.' The publication 'Footsteps in the Ash' can be seen as both an intimate and authentic account of the events of Black Saturday, experienced within the St Andrews and Strathewen communities. Additional significance is added as the photos document this photographers personal experience during the fires, as well as the hardship and loss experienced through the fires.
Description Of Content:
Two Fire Captains are shown discussing strategy for the next wave of fire fighting. David McGahy (Arthurs Creek), who was the sector commander (wearing the white helmet), is seated in vehicle; and Brendan Delaney (Mernda), standing on roadside. Smouldering trees feature in the background, these had been ignited by a spot fire. One of the Strike Commanders' vehicles can be seen further up the road. Fires had been extinguished in Hewitts Road, and the area had been made safe.

Trevor commented 'prior to this photograph, a dozen spot fires had been reduced, and they were 5% of the magnitude of the firestorm to come.' Trevor felt that this image could also be used for training purposes, as it demonstrates the need for incident controllers and others to take time to consider what to next. This shot shows a fair amount of burning in situ, but key to any successful firefighting practice is the time needed to assess and plan. The fire captains reported back to VicFire, decisions made on the fire ground were made locally, and, on the ground by the two Fire Captains, David and Brendan.' (Interview, Trevor Boyd, 12 May 2012).

The township of St Andrews is straight ahead from the fire captains pictured location.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Trevor Boyd
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: bushfires, photography, natural environment, photographic exhibitions, natural disasters, fire fighters, photography exhibitions
Themes this item is part of: Images & Image Making Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Victorian Bushfires Collection
Primary Classification: SUSTAINABILITY
Secondary Classification: Natural Disasters
Tertiary Classification: bushfires
Format: Digital Still Image: Colour
Place & Date Depicted: St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 7 Feb 2009
Photographer: Mr Trevor Boyd, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 7 Feb 2009
Person Depicted: Mr David McGahy - Country Fire Association (CFA) Arthurs Creek/Strathewen, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 7 Feb 2009
Person Depicted: Mr Brendan Delaney - Country Fire Authority (CFA) Mernda, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 7 Feb 2009
Organisation Depicted: Country Fire Authority (CFA), Plenty, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 7 Feb 2009
Place & Date Exhibited: Bridges Restaurant, Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia, Feb 2010

As part of the Of 'Bushfire Photo Exhibition'. The exhibition catalogue included photograph name, photographer and details of sale price.
Organiser of Event: Ms Anita Norris, Arthurs Creek, Victoria, Australia, Feb 2010

Of 'Bushfire Photo Exhibition'
Author: Mr Jim Usher, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 2010

Photograph published in 'Footsteps in the ash: the story of St Andrews and Strathewen in the 2009 bushfires' by Jim Usher and Mac Gudgeon. St Andrews, Vic. 2010.
References: Fire Note Bushfire CRC and AFAC retrieved 10/8/11 (cited, 11.4.12)

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