Sabrina Davis launches fundraiser to equip Kangaroo Island farm firefighting units

FRONT LINE: Farm fire fighting units were on the front line defending life and property during the summer of bushfires on Kangaroo Island. Photo Anne McLean

FRONT LINE: Farm fire fighting units were on the front line defending life and property during the summer of bushfires on Kangaroo Island. Photo Anne McLean

FARM UNIT: Farm fire fighting units took on the advancing fire directly with little more than water-tank equipped utility vehicles. Photo Alexandra Barwick

FARM UNIT: Farm fire fighting units took on the advancing fire directly with little more than water-tank equipped utility vehicles. Photo Alexandra Barwick

Sabrina Davis may have lost her house and farm on January 3, but she never lost hope and is now on a mission to better equip Kangaroo Island's farm firefighting units.

All through November, she is running a fundraising campaign on her Humans of Kangaroo Island social media pages, featuring profiles of farm firefighters that helped saved lives and property.

Sabrina has moved into Kingscote with her children while her husband Ben spends his weeks rebuilding the farm off Church Road on the western end of the Island.

As part of her own recovery process, she started her "Humans of Kangaroo Island" project and since August has interviewed more than 40 KI locals about their lives.

KI STORIES: Some of the "Humans of Kangaroo Island" that have appeared on Sabrina Davis' social media pages of the same name.

KI STORIES: Some of the "Humans of Kangaroo Island" that have appeared on Sabrina Davis' social media pages of the same name.

These profiles are appearing on the Humans of Kangaroo Island Facebook and Instagram pages.

The idea was to bring community members closer together, get to know each other on a different level and close the gap COVID-19 created earlier in the year with sporting and gathering restrictions.

"I was originally inspired by the 'My Island Home' column in The Islander," Sabrina said. "When I first moved here from Germany I didn't know anybody and that column introduced me to someone new every week.

"Now after the fires and with COVID, I think people are experiencing the same kind of isolation all over KI and I was hoping to reconnect people through my Humans of Kangaroo Island profiles."

This month, the focus of the pages has turned to fundraising and seeking sponsorship for her goal of better outfitting at least 100 farm firefighting units.

These units are individual farmers and their utility farm vehicles fitted with a water tank and pump.

"There are many locals out there who aren't CFS members and can't get their safety equipment through them, but still do an outstanding job at defending assets and properties each summer," Sabrina said.

In November, she will be telling the stories of 10 farm firefighters over a period of 30 days, a story every three days, leading into the next summer and another fire season.

These stories will run alongside a fundraiser to collect funds for protective clothing and safety equipment, so the farm units are ready to go when they are needed and at no extra costs to themselves this year.

Sabrina hopes to purchase fire-proof jackets, pants, goggles, gloves and masks and has spoken to state member Leon Bignell to hopefully get UHF radio replacements for those lost in the fire last summer.

The initiative is now kindly supported by the non-profit Centre of Creative Health (CCH) and other sponsors, who have put their hands up to fund a minimum of 100 fire-fighting sets for our local heroes.

"The November 2020 special about farm fire units came about because our local fire units go out every year, every summer, wherever they are needed," Sabrina said.

"These guys and girls are a reliable bunch of wonderful locals, who put their lives on hold, and at risk, and equip themselves at their own cost. Especially after last summer, I wanted to give back to those who do so much and keep on giving."

FIRE GEAR: Clothing manufacturer NCC Apparel Australia has offered Sabrina Davis a big discount on their FlameBuster range. Photo supplied

FIRE GEAR: Clothing manufacturer NCC Apparel Australia has offered Sabrina Davis a big discount on their FlameBuster range. Photo supplied

Here's the link to the fundraising page: Humans of Kangaroo Island - Local firefighters

And the link to the Facebook page is Humans of Kangaroo Island and it's also on Instagram

She is still seeking more sponsors but already has NCC Apparel Australia on board to provide a big discount for their FlameBuster clothing range, if the appropriate funds are raised.

Business donations are tax deductible.

Anyone interested in donating or sponsoring the project, can contact Sabrina Davis directly on 0439 670 494 or via the Humans of Kangaroo Island pages.

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