Former captain reaches 50 years

David Williams of the Saddleworth CFS Brigade reached 50 years of service as a volunteer recently.
David Williams of the Saddleworth CFS Brigade reached 50 years of service as a volunteer recently.

It is an innings anyone would be proud of.

Saddleworth’s David Williams recently put 50 years on the board as a volunteer with the South Australian Country Fire Service.

“I always said when I first joined up that I would get to 50 years, if I could, and see what happens from there,” he said.

“Well now I do not know, but I am still pretty well involved so we will see what happens.

“I am stuck for another 18 months at least and we will see what happens after that.”

Mr Williams joined the Kangarilla CFS as a 17-year-old in 1967.

He moved to Saddleworth 10 years later, where he has remained ever since.

During this time, Mr Williams estimated he had battled hundreds of fires around SA but had been fortunate to miss some of the state’s worst.

He just missed out on getting on the truck to battle the Ash Wednesday bushfire, instead heading out days later with the second unit where he was stuck in floods.

Mr Williams was also away during the Pinery bushfire.

Looking back over his 50 years with the CFS, Mr Williams had some fond memories.

This included the introduction of the Emergency Services Levy, which he labelled “the best decision our government has made”.

“It made the cost of the volunteer services like CFS and SES more equitable across everybody,” he said.

“Previously it was all funded by councils and so if you wanted something, you generally had to go and raise money yourself to be able to get it.

“Now if you want something you ask for it and the ESL pays for it.”

These days Mr Williams is not as active on the fire grounds as he used to be.

He is Deputy Group Officer and Logistics Coordinator, ensuring that the brigade has everything they need incase they are called out to a fire.

Mr Williams is also a volunteer for the SES, has received life membership with the CFS and was a captain of the Saddleworth Brigade for 23 years.