Deniliquin NSW Fire and Rescue appointed Phil Dowling as the brigade's captain last week.By Tyla Harrington
Phil Dowling (pictured) has been appointed the captain of the Deniliquin NSW Fire and Rescue brigade.
Capt Dowling officially started in his position last Friday and comes with 15 years experience in fire fighting.
He says he is excited about the new challenge.
‘‘I was Deputy Captain in Kempsey before I moved here and I thought it would benefit the Deni brigade if I used my past experience and step up to take leadership.
‘‘I’ve been involved in some pretty decent fires including factories, facilities and major MVAs (motor vehicle accidents).
‘‘I like it here in Deniliquin; it has a great community spirit where people are more than happy to give you a hand.
‘‘The firefighters at Deni are experienced and each of them brings certain strengths to the brigade. A lot of them have been involved in major fires which gives me confidence in the team’s ability to effectively combat emergency situations.’’
Capt Dowling moved to Deniliquin with his wife and two children in 2011 when he was transferred to Deniliquin for work.
When he’s not fighting fires, he is a Deniliquin Police highway patrol officer.
Before moving to Deniliquin he was based in Western Sydney and in Kempsey and said Deniliquin is vastly different when it comes to firefighting.
‘‘The number of calls differ here compared to Sydney and Kempsey,’’ Mr Dowling said.
‘‘In Deniliquin, we average 150 calls per year whereas at Kempsey there were between 600 - 800 calls a year.’’
Capt Dowling plans to focus on public fire safety education, especially for primary school students, now he is captain.
‘‘We visited Gulpa pre-school last Monday .
‘‘People should be vigilant with any fires they see. If you see a fire, call 000 and we will be happy to attend and investigate what has occurred.’’
Mr Dowling said he looks forward to working with the Volunteer Rescue Association, Rural Fire Service, Ambulance and police.
He replaces former captain Bill Muirhead who retired in July after more than 45 years service.
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