Fred & Crystal Peters
Tuesday, 22 Aug 2017
By Liane Henderson Bushfire Safety Officer, Brisbane Region
There are so many things that can be said about Fred and Crystal Peters, they truly are the pinup couple for the Rural Fire Service. They are the salt of the earth, community minded, hard working, genuine country people. The sort of people who inspire others just by the way they are.
I first met Fred and Crystal about 6 years ago when I started as a BTSO at the Caboolture Area Office. The then ATSO and I dropped in one day on our way back to the office and I was instantly smitten with this beautiful couple.
Fred was the First Officer of the Stoney Creek Rural Fire Brigade, as well as the local fire warden and Crystal was the secretary and volunteer community educator. Their dedication to this brigade and their local community was amazing. Many a time I would be driving through Woodford and I would see Crystal sitting outside the newsagency with her table of information brochures and her raffle tickets, fund raising and educating all at once. Crystal did this regularly. Crystal is also a peer support officer – a testament to her caring, loving nature.
Fred was a hard working community champion, I remember working with him on the clean up after severe storms in 2015 that hit the Southside of Brisbane. He was probably the oldest volunteer on our crew that day and also the hardest working. He was amazing with the chainsaw and worked like a Trojan all day assisting the residents that had been effected but the storm. During the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, Fred and his brigade drove from Stoney Creek down to Beaudesert (about a four hour drive) to help with the clean up. He was a quiet achiever and didn’t make a fuss, he just got in and got the job done.
Fred and Crystal were so devoted to each other and seeing them often holding hands was beautiful; they loved their 3 boys, their grandchildren and their great grandchildren – family is their first priority. When you were in their company though you would also feel like family, that is just the kind of people they are.
In July this year, their whole lives were changed; tragically Fred and Crystal were involved in a fatal car accident, Crystal and the Peters family and the Rural Fire Service Family lost our much loved Fred. Crystal was badly injured and faced a long recovery process. We laid Fred to rest on the 16th of August – an extremely sad day for us all. The family, the Stony Creek Rural Fire Brigade, the fire service and the community has lost a true gentleman.
Crystal is an inspiration – she continues to recover day by day and will be able to return home in the coming weeks and along with her family, we will all be there to support her.
Rest In Peace Fred Peters (7 August 1940 - 4 July 2017).
Fred was one of the best. He will be sorely missed
By Ian Swadling, RFBAQ Representative Caboolture Area
The Rural Fire Service has lost one of its finest First Officers and Fire Fighters. Over the last 20 years or so I have worked with Fred on many fire incidents, in his patch of Stoney Creek, the Villeneuve patch, and surrounding Brigades districts. Fred was always ‘on the money’ with his plans and aim when dealing with the fires in his patch, his knowledge of the country and lay of the land was impressive and reassuring, he had a very intimate knowledge of the territory his Brigade encompassed. He used that knowledge to efficiently and safely put out the many fires over the years that occurred in his district, he had an intimate understanding of how fires behaved over his area.
Whenever Stoney Creek Brigade was assisting in another Brigade's district, Fred could always be relied on to work for as long and as hard as it would take to get the fire out. If he thought the operation wasn’t going as well as it could, a timely and “informative” message would come over the radio in Fred’s unmistakable tones to “get moving with it”.
It was always reassuring to see Fred and the crew of the Stoney Creek truck arrive when we were “as busy as a one armed paper hanger” in the critical stages of a fire incident, knowing that I could count on him to get his part of the fire under control and safely blacked out.