THE roof is back on at the Kiama Fire Station after the damage it sustained in February's tornadoes and the firefighters have turned their attention to the upcoming fire season.
During the storms, the roof and front doors of the section of the building that houses the fire engines were ripped apart and strewn over a wide area surrounding the station. While the engines only had superficial damage, there was some structural damage to the attached fire house and offices.
"You could say that things at the time were fairly difficult, but the positive thing is that even though we were a bit inconvenienced, Kiama was never in danger of not having us available to respond to emergencies," captain Peter Mitchell said.
"In fact, the way all emergency services in Kiama were able to band together during that crisis was admirable and what we faced, while major on the outside, was fairly minimal considering what happened elsewhere."
Mr Mitchell said that their whole building has been reinforced, with a heavier roof and doors, while all walls within the building had steel rods inserted and concrete has been poured inside the walls to add to the structure's stability.
"Overall I suppose it means that in the unlikely event of another tornado, we are much better protected," he said
"And we updated our sign outside regularly to keep people informed what was happening."
The Fire and Rescue NSW Zone Commander, Superintendent Steven Baker, praised the efforts of the Kiama staff and said it was time for people to start focusing on making their homes ready for the bushfire season.
"It's important that people start checking their gutters, removing rubbish and start getting ready for the warmer weather. The best way of preventing a serious fire incident is to do your 'housekeeping'," he said.