Gosford based asphalt specialists Sharpe Bros have donated their services to refurbish the crumbling and long neglected driveway at Kariong Rural Fire Brigade, which posed a safety hazard for members and the public.
Sharpe Bros stepped in to help after seeing the poor state of the potholed and disintegrating driveway off Dandaloo Street, despite 10 years of fundraising and lobbying to get it repaired.
The Sharpe Bros team completed the $7000 project in just one day, free of charge.
Joint Managing Director of Sharpe Bros, Michael Sharpe, said the repair work was undertaken while the brigade was out on call, much to the surprise of the members when they returned.
“I left a message on the Captain’s phone to say we were going to do it, and I phoned him again when it was finished to tell him what we had done. He was very surprised and I’d say they were all pretty stoked when they got back to the station and saw the new driveway,” Mr. Sharpe said.
“We were happy to make this donation to the Kariong Rural Fire Brigade, who have been caring for the Gosford community since 1946.”
“They’re the sort of guys who are always on call and go out of their way to help the community in their time of need, so we were happy to be able to give something back and thank them for all the work they do.”
Known for their reputation as leading road specialists, Sharpe Bros put four workers to the task of repairing the pavement, preparing the area for sealing with bitumen and finally sealing the bitumen over the roadway, providing a smooth and safe surface from the station to the road.
Captain of Kariong Rural Fire Brigade, Robert Sterling, said the donation has had a huge impact on the station.
“I know it’s just a driveway, but when you’re sitting in a 13 tonne truck and trying to get somewhere quickly and being bounced out of the station because of the potholes, it was just a menace.
“It’s a pretty active spot, with a child care centre opposite us, and other businesses around us. It’s a really well used area so now it will be a lot safer for everyone now it’s in tip-top condition,” he said.
Mr. Sterling said he was stunned when he received the call from Michael Sharpe to tell him the driveway had been fixed.
“Just before he told me, I had asked if he could organise a time to come out and look at the driveway, so we could get a quote and have a target for our fundraising. But he told me it was already done, and to keep our fundraising money to spend on something better.
“Everyone in the brigade went up to the station and just stood there and stared at it and just couldn’t stop saying thank you.”
Mr. Sterling said besides the obvious benefits of improved safety, accessibility and aesthetics, the Sharpe Bros’ donation has boosted the morale of the members.
“It really has had a flow on effect with the members who have a newfound pride in their station and we can’t thank the Sharpe Bros enough,” Mr. Sterling said.
The family owned and operated company is run by the three Sharpe brothers, Michael, Richard and Hayden, and has a tradition of community service.
“We work in a very team oriented environment and this type of work is something we have always done and learnt from our father. It’s part of our family heritage,” Mr. Sharpe said. “We believe it’s also a good example to set – that where companies can help, it’s important they do help.
“Times are pretty tough for a lot of businesses so where you can lend a hand it certainly has a flow on effect and is good for the whole community,” he said.