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Williamstown born and bred

Williamstown born and bred

When Matt Bain’s family first settled in Williamstown, it was just a shadow of the place it is today.

Dirt tracks led to timber sawmills, the few houses were spaced by large paddocks and the now bustling main street was used to herd sheep through the town.

Five generations later, Matt is upholding the family’s name in the town as a respected volunteer fire fighter.

Matt was raised just two houses down from the CFS station, and used to watch fire trucks pass by his property until he was old enough to join as a cadet.

Gaining knowledge from “old legends” in the town, Matt climbed the ladder from cadet to newly appointed Barossa Group Officer.

His local knowledge has greatly benefitted the brigades, as he has been able to accurately predict the way fire travels down certain gullies in the area.

Although normally comforting, recognising faces in the community has been tough for Matt while attending serious incidents.

One call out – a road crash, which resulted in two childrens’ deaths on Christmas Eve – was his most difficult task.

“That one really hurt. But it didn’t stop me from doing what I do,” Matt said.

“I just get out there and focus on what I have to do.”

Now in the management side of the CFS, Matt rarely attends incidents, and is much more mentally rather than physically drained at the end of a task.

For the full story, grab January 30 edition of The Leader.