THE Bendigo fire brigade has appointed its first captain in at least seven decades, after a change in Victoria's firefighting organisations.
Volunteer say the new system will allow them to have more input into the running of the brigade.
Longtime member Ian Ellis was voted into the role at the brigade's annual general meeting on Monday.
Mr Ellis said he was chuffed to be elected captain, after serving with the brigade for nearly 46 years.
He said he had wanted to be a firefighter ever since he was a small child, watching his father Max head out to fires.
Max remains a member, now of more than 60 years standing. For his son Ian, it's the culmination of that childhood dream: captain is the highest he can rise.
"As Ellises our family's been involved through all the brigade. If you're an Ellis, you join the brigade, that's how it was," he said.
"All the Ellis family has been part of the Bendigo fire brigade for the past 60 years."
Mr Ellis said as captain he would be on the radios, directing volunteers to fight the fires.
It's a change from when volunteers and career firefighters worked alongside each other, when the career firefighters were largely in charge.
Career firefighters around Victoria transitioned to new organisation Fire Rescue Victoria on July 1, 2020.
FRV replaced the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, and now works in both urban and major regional centres, including Bendigo.
Bendigo CFA brigade chair George Flack said the new structure meant the captain would have a lot more influence in decision making, compared to lieutenants who were previously appointed.
Mr Flack said the Bendigo brigade's last captain was elected in about the 1930s. He said the captain would have more influence on the running of the brigade than the previous volunteer head.
"This will mean there'll be greater influence by Bendigo fire brigade into decision making, and what it does, than what there has been in the past," Mr Flack said.
Mr Flack said the Bendigo brigade would move to Murphy Street later this year for about 18 months, while the Hargreaves Street station was demolished and rebuilt.
Mr Ellis said the brigade hoped to recruit more volunteers, with 47 volunteers, 16 of whom were active members.
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