Fire pumper named after Pa

By Ivy Jensen

NO-ONE has given more to Echuca Fire Brigade than Alan Eley.

Despite turning 90 next month, 'Pa', as he is affectionately known, continues to volunteer for the fire service 34 years after retiring as a career firefighter.

To honour Pa for his tireless work throughout the past 75 years - he joined the CFA as a 14-year-old - Echuca's new pumper has been named after him.

Echuca CFA captain Rob Amos said it was the first time in Echuca a truck had been dedicated to someone.

"Our brigade members thought it befitting to start this tradition in Echuca and name it after you," he said.

A modest Pa joked he had graduated from a horse steamer to a modern appliance.

"I've had my life go before me," he said.

"I've always thought to serve the community in their time of need and that's why I do what I do to the best of my ability. I've done that through my life and will continue while I'm standing upright."

Mr Amos said Pa had served the Echuca community and the wider Victorian fire service since 1944 in many different and varied roles.

"He's been a firefighter for a long time but it's the stuff he does behind the scenes. He's always down here working doing something, whether it's gardening or cleaning," he said.

"He never asks for any accolades, he just gets along and does it.

"He's such a giving and endearing man. He'll do anything for anyone."

Echuca CFA's Ron Hooper said Pa had given exemplary service to the brigade and his dedication and commitment had gone above and beyond of what was expected.

"His continuing endeavours and expertise enhanced the efficiency of his fellow members and aided an excellent reputation which was held by the brigade," he said.

"His years of expertise as a volunteer and career firefighter and his enthusiasm for the fire service has been beyond beneficial to the local area as well as the group and the region."

The brigade thanked Eaglehawk Fire Brigade for lending the group its 1930 Dodge fire truck - which is the same truck Echuca used when Pa joined the brigade.