Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2015-05-20 Contents PAGE 18 – The Courier Wednesday, May 20, 2015
By Judy Richards-Norris
LIKE most CFS volunteers, Phil
Scroop can never be sure where
he’ll finish up each day.
There is a possibility he will find
himself fighting floods or a house fire,
attending a serious road accident,
clearing roads of fallen trees or
straying animals – or even assisting in
a cliff rescue.
His biggest concern is the threat of
bushfires and, as Clarendon’s CFS
captain, is determined that his team
of 30 firefighters are up to date with
important training and knowledge to
keep the community safe.
Over the past 30 years as an active
member of the brigade, Mr Scroop
has attended about 1000 callouts,
often being woken in the early hours
misadventure that may keep him away
from home for hours.
“At times we are required for days,
sometimes weeks to assist in faraway
areas around the State,” he said.
“As part of eight brigades in the
Mawson Group, our strike teams have
been needed as far away as NSW,
Wilmington, Kangaroo Island and Port
“We recently assisted at the Sampson
Flat and Eden Valley fires.
“When I joined the brigade in 1984
there was a serious lack of equipment,
training and aerial bombers, which
we all know now are a godsend to
“There is still a tight CFS budget, so
we work to update our brigades with
Government grants and fundraising.
“We recently catered for the local
primary school’s sports day to raise
funds to bituminise our training area.”
Mr Scroop began his long career with
the Clarendon CFS as a “rookie”.
He rose through the ranks to senior
firefighter, lieutenant and then to
captain, a position he has held for the
past seven years.
“Many fires are due to uncontrolled
burn-offs or careless use of machinery,
such as grinders,” he said. “House
fires can result from faulty household
items, such as electric blankets,
unmaintained wood burners, clothes
driers and air-conditioning units.
“We all should be very conscious of the
dangers and take care.”
Mr Scroop believes that the twisting
roads around Clarendon are extremely
“The local roads were made many
years ago for speeds of 60km/h and
not designed to be used in high speed
events like the Classic Car and Targa
“The fatality in the last Targa Rally
was a senseless waste of life.
“The roads with huge trees alongside
make high speed racing ridiculously
Mr Scroop also deems the Clarendon
Bridge – built in 1919 – as potentially
precarious and in need of urgent
“It is exceedingly narrow, with a 90
degree bend on one end and a 65 tonne
“If two large trucks meet, there is a
real possibility of a major accident that
will block the bridge.
“I think all concerned community
members should speak up for changes
that keep us safer.
“My involvement with the CFS has
given me a great deal of satisfaction as
I enjoy helping people.
“I have made good mates – we all get
on well and look out for each other.
“We are all part of decision making in
dangerous situations and the trust we
have in each other’s ability could one
day save our lives.”
Mr Scroop was born in 1946 and grew
up in an historic house, the original
Marion Hotel, with his parents Alick
and Gail, three sisters and a brother.
“Marion was very rural and we were
surrounded by vineyards, almond
trees, flower farms and market
gardens,” he said.
“Our home had 13 rooms and two
cellars, so we had a playground under
our own roof.”
After completing his education at
Mitchell Park Boys Technical School,
he was apprenticed as a cabinetmaker
and shop fitter.
“I learnt many skills from my
workmates, especially those from Italy
and Greece,” he said.
During the Vietnam War he
volunteered for National Service and
after training in Victoria and NSW,
and gaining a heavy truck licence, was
sent to Vietnam.
He joined the lst Australian
Reinforcement Unit at Nui Dat as a
driver/rifleman and transported water,
food, mail and laundry items around
“Although it was a violent time with
the Viet Cong rampant, I found it an
exciting experience and one I will
“It made us grow up very quickly.”
After being demobbed in 1968, he
returned to his position with his
previous employer and soon met and
married Jill Benham.
The couple lived in Morphett Vale
for 14 years, rearing their daughter
Catherine and twins, Brenton and
During this time, he joined Morphett
Vale Lions Club and local school
committees while establishing his own
He later worked solo and with business
He and his family relocated to
Clarendon in 1983 where he became
involved in the local community.
The Vietnam Federation Committee
member and retired grandfather of
seven enjoys metal detecting and
extensive caravan holidays.
“My retirement is very busy as I still
love making things from wood in my
“My CFS duties allow me to continue
to contribute to the community and Jill
and I enjoy helping out with our family.
“I never have time to be bored.”
CFS captain says people
should speak up on safety
The roads with huge
make high speed
– Phil Scroop
BUSINESS & TOURISM
Adelaide Hills Council endorsed the draft AHBTC Masterplan
for consultation on 24 March 2015.
The Masterplan provides a framework to guide ongoing
management and use of the AHBTC. The general intent is
to maximise the commercial sectors of the site whilst still
retaining a public use area and minimising the conflict between
pedestrian and vehicle movement.
Council invites you to provide comment on the Masterplan.
How can you be involved?
Access the draft Masterplan on the Council website
Visit the AHBTC office and Council Libraries at Woodside,
Gumeracha and Stirling to view the Masterplan.
Attend a drop-in Information Session at AHBTC
(AHBTC Administration Building 14, upstairs meeting room,
Lobethal), on Wednesday 27 May between 3-7pm.
For further information contact
Sharon Leith on 8408 0562 Blaze 066966
Advertise in our
Trades & Services Section
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