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Some of the catering crew (l-r) CV catering unit manager Stephanye Holden, Sharon and Julie serve up roast chicken dinners to send out to the fire line. Image: contributed

Keeping our firies fed

Lynne Mowbray|

Clarence Valley RFS Catering Unit Manager Stephanye Holden has been heading up the RFS catering team who have been preparing meals for the fire fighters, from the kitchen/canteen at the RFS station at Trenayr. 

Stephanye said that they have been preparing meals to feed the hungry fire fighters, since Sunday morning, September 8.

“We provided 150 lunches and 120 meals for dinner on Monday, with 150 lunches and 200 dinners, on Tuesday,” Stephanye said.

“We get the numbers of how many meals we need, from the control centre at Ulmarra and that number changes considerably, when they have to move fire trucks around (on the fire front) – it’s quite involved.

“We cook the meals at Trenayr and put them into individual plastic (throw away) containers and send them out to the fire grounds in big hot boxes.

“We also make up snack packs to send out with the lunches along with boxes of (bottled) water.

“We also deliver lunches out to the air base (Grafton Airport) for the plane and helicopter pilots – we only provide lunch not dinner, as they can’t fly after dark.

“The SES has been wonderful in helping us with the catering and delivering the meals to the fire grounds.

“There have also been members of the community assisting in providing food and snacks for the firies and half of the catering team are community members who aren’t RFS members, who have just put their hand up and offered to help us out.

“The first day of the fires, the Gulmarrad School did lunches up and beat us to the firemen at the Brooms Head fire ground, which was really nice of them to do that.

“The community have been fabulous – there’s been a lot of community input.

“People are surprisingly good.