Mt Evelyn CFA 70 year logo

Mount Evelyn fire brigade has celebrated over 70 years of protecting the community. We are now looking towards the future by building on the last 70 years with up to date appliances and equipment and training.

We are working in partnership with the community to make Mt Evelyn a safer place to live.




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Mt Evelyn Station and appliances Our Appliances 

Type 3 pumper is our primary vehicle used in urban fires and Motor vehicle accidents.

The 3000 litre 4WD tanker used for grass and scrub fires, wild fires and a secondary unit to back up the pumper Ultra Light

The forward control vehicle is used for stike team duties all over the state when required during the summer months, This community funded vehicle is also used for calls in the local area to run communications out of at incidents and community education including brigades in schools and fire guard




The Mt.Evelyn Fire Brigade was formed in 1939 under the leadership of Mr. Ted Varty with meetings being held in the Public Hall. However following the destruction by fire of the hall on New Years Day 1950 the meetings were held at the Church of England Hall with the brigades equipment being stored in a shed at the rear of the church.

After some time these meetings were held at the band hall, now known as the Memorial Pre-School with equipment still housed at the Church shed. In May 1951 the pre-school commenced and so the Tennis Pavilion was used for the meetings.

In need of some permanence, it was decided that some land be acquired to erect a Fire Station. This was achieved by leasing land in Wray Crescent from the Victorian railways.

In May 1951 a building fund was created and following much fundraising and a £300 grant from the CFA, construction began on the new station. The first meeting being held in these premises in December 1952.

Through the years these facilities proved inadequate and a further relocation was planned. Land was purchased in York Road, more fundraising embarked upon, grants approved and with the donations of time by members and town folk alike, construction was underway on our present location. Construction was completed in August 1975 and officially opened by the Hon W.Borthwick MLA on December 13, 1975. Having no further use, the old fire station was made available to the St.John Ambulance Brigade.

Alarms, equipment and vehicles, like the station have continued to improve over the years.

Alarms and methods of notifying the members of fires have come a long way from the Bell Tower erected opposite Snowball Avenue. It was made using the old windmill tower donated by someone from Silvan and purchasing a bell from Doran & Longs, of Brunswick for £20.

Mr. W.Hughes, owner of the General Store next to the old post office, was the Official Bell Ringer and a code of rings was devised:           

1 ring - person lost,

2 rings - fire to the north,

3 rings - fire to the south,

4 rings - fire to the east,

5 rings - fire to the west.

In 1960 Sirens replaced the bell and were mounted firstly at the old station then to the present location on the Hose Drying Tower where the original bell has also been mounted.

In 1962 the first FRS (Fire Reporting System) was installed. This was used to receive incoming fire calls using ordinary telephones installed in members homes.

In 1981, one of the first Deltec (Direct Alarm) systems in Victoria was installed at the station to cover protected premises in the area and is connected direct to the siren and a Personnel Paging System installed in 1980.

Equipment has progressed from beater, buckets and later knapsacks etc., to more efficient hoses, pumps, protective equipment (most important with the increasing occurrence of chemical incidents) and general working tools so important and necessary in the suppression of fire and associated incidents.

Vehicles too have improved from the first truck, an ex-Army 1940 4WD Bedford with a canvas top (which was later removed by fire). This unit was purchased at an Army clearance auction and later donated to Silvan Fire Brigade in 1954.

Fire trucks to follow the Bedford were the early series Austin Tankers (CFA issue) through the International 4WD to the  International 610 4WD 3000 Lt. Tanker.Today we have an Isuzu Tanker and rear mounted type 3 pumper, a Ultra lite Nissan tanker and a forward control Toyota 4WD car.

The Car and the Ultra lite tanker are funded by the generous donations by the local community and fund raising by the brigade  

Following a public meeting the Brigade was classified Urban in 1967.

This led to the CFA providing a 1963 Austin Front Mounted Pumper to deal with the increased residential development. This unit served the brigade for many years and was replaced in 1984 by the current Type 3 Ford Trader Pumper.

Community support continued to assist us and made possible the purchase of equipment including the paging system. This was later updated by the CFA in 1995 and allows notification directly to members of fires and incidents, without the need to use the siren. The Siren is still active and is used as a back-up system and also for direct alarms to protected premises.

Possibly the most beneficial unit purchased through these extra funds was the Commuter Bus. This brigade owned vehicle has been updated every two years since. Currently we have a Toyota Landcruiser 4WD, which is used as a forward Command Post and to transport equipment when needed.

Many people are responsible for the present well being of the brigade, from the early members who had to deal with situations using poor equipment to the modern vehicles, apparatus and sophisticated communications used by highly trained personnel.

The degree of training and commitment have stood us in good stead to deal with at times, very dangerous situations, and thus minimize the loss of property and ensure the protection of our residents.

Some of the larger incidents dealt with by the brigade over the years have been the destruction of the Millar Mill in 1961 which was located at the corner of York Rd and Wray Cres. In 1962, bushfires raged for several days and some 40 house were lost. A similar outbreak occurred in 1964 in the Bailey Road area requiring several days of intense fire fighting to make the area safe.

In recent times, the fire prevention works carried out by many residents and authorities have somewhat reduced the hazards, but in 1983, one week before Ash Wednesday,  many homes in Mt.Evelyn were in danger.  A quick response and immediate support allowed us to bring the situation under control and after several days the area was safe again. Two homes were lost.

In 1989 the brigade celebrated its 50th Anniversary . A dinner dance was held at the Melba Centre to celebrate the occasion.

In 1993 the Shire of Lilydale presented to the brigade, a Certificate of Appreciation, in recognition for service to the community. That year also saw members being sent to Benalla to assist in flood relief.

The devastating bushfires in NSW occurred in January 1994 and to assist, the CFA sent crews from this region, including Mt.Evelyn members. We were again called upon in January 1998 to go to Sydney, who again were surrounded by bushfires.

In February 1998,  there was a large fire in Quinn Reserve Mt. Evelyn with 21 tankers and 148 personnel involved to bring the fire under control.

It is during times such as this that our Ladies Auxiliary are publicly noticeable. However they do work tirelessly throughout the year fundraising and arranging social functions to keep morale high.

We must point out here that if it was not for the support of the local traders and residents we would not be able to provide the efficient service that we do. Ms Billie Mitchell is an example of this with her kind donation of $2500 in 1994.

To acknowledge service to the brigade over the years, there have been Life Memberships awarded to the following persons:

  • John O'Connor
  • Peter O'Connor
  • William Hughes
  • Yvonne Soutter
  • Trevor Stoddart
  • Ken Reed
  • Norm Meades
  • Bernie Doolan.
  • Ken Mitchell
  • Geoff Brown
  • Barry Peers
Response Area

The Brigade Management Team

Captain Jim Armstrong  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Brigade Baso Sue Harley This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

1st LT Kristian Gruppetta

2nd LT Rick Ventrella

3rd LT John Kleesman

4th LT Geoff Brown

5th LT Chris St Clair

Secretery Rene Belyus



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