The Branxholme Fire Brigade’s 55 volunteers are better equipped to protect their community against the threat of fire with the opening a new $400,000 fire station today.
Representing Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan, Nationals Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty said the 72-year-old Branxholme Fire Brigade would now be better equipped to enable its members to protect the community during a fire event.
“The Branxholme Fire Brigade not only serves its own township but has been called upon during many of Victoria’s major fire events, including during the 2009 Black Saturday fires where its members bravely answered calls for help from nearby Coleraine,” Mr Delahunty said.
“Despite tackling some of Victoria’s worst fires, Branxholme members were working out of an outdated shed which originally built in the 1950s before a further upgrade in 1993.”
Mr Delahunty said this new station was constructed using local builders and contractors.
“The station will provide the 55 members of the Branxholme Fire Brigade, lead by Captain Geoffrey McErvale, with modern and up-to-date facilities, including a Divisional Command Centre which will give CFA District 5 more effective fire and incident management control capabilities into the future.”
“It will also feature a meeting and communications room and rainwater tanks for domestic water use and to clean the appliances following use at incidents.”
Mr Ryan said the Branxholme station upgrade was funded via the CFA capital works program.
“This new facility will provide an enormous boost to community spirit and help build community confidence,” Mr Ryan said.
“The essential service that the CFA provide goes above and beyond fighting fires. Brigades also have a critical role in bringing people together and fostering community networks.
“It is especially important for rural townships to have venues such as this, where the entire community can congregate, is especially important.”
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government is committed to supporting the states 59,000 CFA volunteers, recently investing $65.8 million to build 60 new or upgraded CFA stations and rolling out 101 new fire fighting vehicles within the next 12 months, while the government had recently passed legislation which enshrined the rights and needs of CFA Volunteers.
“The CFA is one of the world’s largest volunteer-based emergency service organisations, and every one of these volunteers makes a significant contribution to the wellbeing and safety of Victorians so it is pleasing that we can provide this support,” Mr Ryan said.