Love Local Issue #1.07

Newtown Fire Station


Fire safety. You generally wouldn’t think it’s a subject to have a lot of fun with, but somehow the kickass team at the Newtown Fire Station manage to put a little cheek into a serious topic – and here at The Imperial we are getting hot flushes just thinking about it!


For those who have been living under a rock, this humble fire station in the Inner West has become famous for their light box on the outside of the building – we thought it was time to find out more about the iconic messenger, so after a quick Facebook message to there page, neck minute we found ourselves on the phone chatting to the fabulous Johnny McGirr from D Platoon who gave us the DL on this community icon…


Collage of images, three firemen linking arms, different messages on a lightbox sign


How did the sign come about?
Johnny: Almost 4 years ago, the NSW Fire Department installed light boxes outside every fire station to promote messages about fire safety to the public. We [The firefighters of Newtown Fire Station] saw this as an opportunity to make fire safety a little more exciting…


Who is responsible for the sign?

Johnny: Myself and Ben Gurdin from D Platoon work on the sign and our social media in general. But it’s a team effort really, the fire station’s team is made up of 4 platoons – A, B, C and D – and what we lack in platoon naming creativity, we try and make up for in fire safety puns! Our weekly challenge being to post a new message about fire safety, that is fun and engaging at the same time. Occasionally we come out with something that ticks the boxes (coz a lot of it doesn’t!), especially when we manage to incorporate pop-culture or political references into it.


The sign is always popping up on social media, what is the goal?

Johnny: Our aim is been to bring some humour and joy with the sign and represent the diverse community of the Inner West. We’d like to think it makes our fire station more approachable to the public, we love serving our community and this is one way we can do that. Open days are another great way for us to engage and connect with the public, it’s a really rewarding part of the job.


The Newtown Fire Station is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we can’t help but adore these legends for their dedication to continually spread love and laughter despite the demanding hours and effort they put in to keeping us all safe.


To finish off, we asked Johnny what his No.1 fire safety advice is:

Johnny: More often than not, having working smoke alarms is the common theme between fatalities and survivors. No joke.


The Newtown Fire Station is located on Australia St, Newtown.
Don’t forget to tag them in your photos!!

Instagram @NewtownFire #NewtownFireStation
Facebook @NewtownFireStation


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