Unsung HeroesRevealing the Remarkable in Seemingly Ordinary People
David signed up for the Volunteer Fire Brigade as a 17 year old Toodyay lad in 1970. He has since gone on to become Narrogin's longest serving Volunteer Fire Captain. Prior to moving to Narrogin, David was the Captain of the Toodyay Brigade for 18 months and has been an Apparatus Officer and Lieutenant at both Toodyay and Narrogin. It is a job he has undertaken for close to five decades and for thirty nine of those years he has been at the helm of the Narrogin Brigade as it's Captain.
Dave's involvement with the brigade means sacrificing hundreds of hours each year responding to call-outs and training his crew. In his role as Captain, he has attended thousands of call-outs for bush fires, structural fires, road accidents and has rescued kittens from cavity walls. There are also the demonstrations at community events such as the Narrogin Agricultural Show and at schools, educating the public on the hazards of fire.
"I always remember, growing up, Dad jumping up to grab his keys as soon as the phone rang" says his daughter Jess. "He is always ready to attend any incident, regardless of the day or time. Many a time there have been false alarms in the early hours of the morning but he's never complained. There have been many missed family dinners, birthday celebrations and Christmas lunches where Dad has had to attend a call-out."
In 2003 David was awarded the Shire of Narrogin Citizenship Award for his outstanding contribution to the community. As a prominent business owner in Narrogin, David would often sponsor local community groups and sporting clubs. An example of this is where he sponsored the Narrogin Quarter Midget Association. He was also the mechanic for the Association, serving on the committee and as President of the State Association for one term.
"Dave does not consider himself brave or a hero but in my eyes he is, because of the amount of time, effort and dedication he has put in to serve the community and keep them safe" says Jess.
Revealing the remarkable in seemly ordinary people
Portrait painted by Graham Smith 2020.
Text compiled by Jan Smith from notes provided with the nomination in 2020.