Humans of Kangaroo Island firefighting fund winds up

FARM UNIT: Steve "Bullfrog" Riley of Gosse and his farm fighting unit supplied by the generosity of Adelaide-based Simon Jackson, who also owns a holiday home at Vivonne Bay. Photo suppllied

In August 20202, Sabrina Davis started the Humans of Kangaroo Island project to tell the tales of islanders before, during and after the fires to re-connect, uplift and inspire the community.

To make a larger impact on the Island, a fundraiser was started alongside ten authentic farm firefighter hero stories in November 2020.

The aim was to raise $13,500 to re-equip 100 farm firefighters with new protective equipment before the fire season 2020/21 started.

Over the next two months, the Humans of KI firefighters fund raised over $60,000 and has since handed out 225 personal protection equipment kits to local farm firefighters.

It also organised two farm-fire unit induction days at the Parndana Oval in collaboration with the local CFS, handed out dozens of UHF radios in collaboration with Jamieson Marine, strategically placed six quick fills pumps into the hands of local farm caretakers to have available during future fires and has recently handed out 150 woolen blankets and first aid kits.

The project has been supported by local and mainland businesses, community organisations, foundations and individuals from around the country.

FARM FIREFIGHTER: Shaun Hilder of Weatherill Road at Parndana with his new trailer-mounted firefighting unit supplied by Simon Jackson. Photo supplied

FARM FIREFIGHTER: Shaun Hilder of Weatherill Road at Parndana with his new trailer-mounted firefighting unit supplied by Simon Jackson. Photo supplied

Just before winding up the fund, Sabrina Davis received a call from Adelaide-based Simon Jackson who also owns a holiday home at Vivonne Bay.

Shortly after the fires he had raised funds on the mainland to purchase fire units for the area, now he was looking for a local to help him place them where needed.

Simon brought over five fire-fighting units with all the hoses and equipment and Sabrina found five deserving locals that had been fire-affected and unable to financially replace their lost units since the Black Summer fires.

The units have been handed out before the summer, connected to IBC shuttles and will hopefully serve those KI residents well for years to come.

"Thank you to Simon and all of those who donated to him for supporting the island community and firefighters to bounce back since the disaster," Sabrina said.

She has now officially closed the firefighting fund, and has finished up all admin work relating to it.

Sabrina has been pleased with the outcome and extremely grateful for all the support, donations and accolades she has received over the last 1.5 years.

"Special thank you to the Hospital Research Foundation for hosting and running the fundraising account for me legally so the donations could be tax-deductable for everyone and we were allowed to accept larger donations as well," she said.

Humans of KI has now raised a total of over $81,300 for her community.

The Humans of KI film festival in October 2021 raised funds for the new Parndana Community Children's Centre, while the release of the Humans of KI book in November 2021 raised funds for the fire-affected Western Districts Sports Club,

Sabrina has now decided to focus on the rebuild of her own home in 2022 and hopes to be reunited with her German family this year.

The stories of locals can still be found on Humans of Kangaroo Island website and social pages and she will continue to publish more in the future.

The Humans of KI book is still available on the website and in shops around the island.