Fire brigade records show its history
Former Killcare-Wagstaffe fire brigade captain Warwick Teasdale has investigated letters and notes from the Brigade's records to come up with a history of the brigade.
Like many small communities prior to the 1950s, residents of the Killcare Peninsula knew they had to be self-reliant.
When it came to protecting life and property from a fire, they had only themselves and helpful neighbours to respond to the challenges.
In one letter, an older resident told of how he was competing in a carnival at Killcare Surf Club when the alarm was raised.
There was a fire at the northern end of the beach and spectators and competitors rushed up the beach.
After they extinguished the fire they returned to continue the carnival.
In 1950, two groups were formed to raise funds to purchase a fire fighting vehicle.
They were the South Brisbane Water Voluntary Bush Fire Brigade Association and the South Brisbane Water Voluntary Bush Fire Brigade which was established by Gosford Shire Council in 1951.
Although the two groups had not raised sufficient funds, in 1954 they took delivery of an ex-RAAF fire fighting truck.
Both organisations managed to raise about 100 pounds and the Shire Council assisted by providing a loan to cover the required 300 pounds.
The truck was officially handed over to the Fire Brigade on Saturday, September 11, 1954.
It was originally kept in a waterfront garage which regularly flooded.
By mid-1955, the Killcare-Wagstaffe Rural Fire Brigade was established and the members duly appointed.
The first captain was Pretty Beach storekeeper Mr John Stewart, the vice captain was Pretty Beach schoolmaster Mr Arthur Cains and Mr Tom Hansen was the senior driver.
The present Killcare-Wagstaffe Brigade is amongst the most active in the Gosford district and responds to all incidents including bush fires, structure fires, car accidents-fires, and, additionally, supports other agencies in times of natural disasters.
The team of 26 members has put in more than 2900 hours over the past year in activities including community engagements, training, hazard reductions and maintenance.
The current captain is Steve Farrell.