Steve Bowen Gives an Insight Into Challenging Times
Entertainer Steve Bowen is one of hundreds of local volunteers who has been fighting fires as well as balancing his work and family life. He was even involved in the relocation of a wedding, 200 kilometres from its original venue in Milawa due to a fire emergency.
He shared some of his experiences with Kylie and Kev on 2AY.
It’s been a pretty amazing time, for lots of reasons, horrific and catastrophic in some respects, but also there’s been some pretty amazing stories come out of events like this.
As a community and a society we’re now coming together and it’s really great to see. It’s a shame it takes such a catastrophe to bring everyone together.
I did my course (fire fighter) in 2014 and didn’t really get a chance to go to any fires – if there was one I was at a function or event and couldn’t go.
Recently it all started happening. I’m learning new things every day. Everyone on that front line, or in the support groups in that area, are absolutely sensational – the camaraderie. Most of the firefighters are property owners, so they’re not only saving their own lives, but their neighbours and their friends.
I’m at Glenellen Fire Brigade and we’ve got three trucks here. We’ve been sending one or two trucks at a time, but still having one based here in case we have any dramas. We’ve been rotating shifts. In total we’ve had 25 people from our brigade fighting fires over the past couple of weeks and rotating that around. I’m going to have a couple of days break to re-group and catch up and do some work and be ready to go if I’m required next week.
I also had a wedding that was supposed to be at Milawa, on Monday just gone (in his role as MC).
I went down on the Sunday for the rehearsal and the Manager said we’ve got to evacuate. Obviously the bride and groom were pretty stressed. The venue offered their sister property some 200 kilometres away in the Macedon Ranges, so within an hour the whole bridal party and everyone associated with the wedding got involved.
We re-organised the guests, got a new celebrant at short notice, I picked up the wedding cake from Wangaratta on my way, the band couldn’t make it so I DJ’d the event which I would have done anyway.
The people at Macedon Ranges had to put on more staff and everyone pulled together and made everyone so welcome and it was absolutely superb. At this time, it’s all about staying positive, not what the problem is. To me it’s ‘how do we make a solution out of this and how do we solve it?’
On another note, this Saturday night at the SS&A Club, there’s a fundraiser in honour of Sam McPaul, for his wife Megan who is pregnant with their first child. We’d love to see everyone there who can chip in and help out a firefighter who gave his life to the community.