Improved Facilities For CFA Volunteers

Improved Facilities For CFA Volunteers

Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan

Victoria Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan

CFA Volunteers Better Equipped And Trained

Victor P Taffa

Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers are seeing the benefits of a $44.5 Million Victorian Government support package for CFA firefighters which includes better training opportunities and improved facilities around the state.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan today inspected upgrades to the Gippsland Fire Training Complex in Sale; one of several CFA training sites in Victoria receiving a boost as part of the Government’s commitment to CFA volunteers.

“Upgrades to regional field training grounds, more training infrastructure and a CFA member identification initiative is part of the State Government’s efforts to improve training for Victoria’s hardworking CFA firefighters.” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Ryan, who this week personally experienced some of what CFA volunteers undertake as part of their assessment and training, was today also presented with the first CFA Member ID card that will ensure CFA volunteers can navigate roadblocks during emergencies.

“The CFA Member ID project specifically addresses recommendation 19 of the Bushfires Royal Commission final report, while the CFA operational training for members and career staff is also one of the key outcomes of the report.” Mr. Ryan said.

“Improved identification, along with new infrastructure and a capital works program which allows CFA members to train in environments where operational scenarios, including fire, can be safely and realistically simulated, will ensure volunteers are best prepared in emergencies.”

The Government’s volunteer package includes:

  • A four year Mobile Training Infrastructure Project to boost operational training opportunities;
  • Additional Field Training Grounds Capital Works projects including replacing four concrete training pads at West Sale at a cost of $610,000;
  • A new Member ID project to provide all CFA members with a personal photo ID that is consistent across the state and will help facilitate passage through roadblocks;
  • A new Traffic Management Points and Vehicle Stickers project, including a new temporary vehicle sticker for operational support and contractors who are required to have immediate short term access to a particular area for a specific purpose.

“The Mobile Training Infrastructure Project is particularly beneficial for rural CFA members who do not have ready access to a CFA field training ground.” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Ryan said equipping CFA volunteers with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to manage their own safety and wellbeing was paramount to ensuring a good emergency service agency in times of crisis.

“The Coalition Government is also investing $65.8 Million towards 60 new or upgraded CFA stations and rolling out 101 new firefighting vehicles this financial year alone as part of an overall commitment to build and upgrade 250 CFA stations across Victoria by November 2014.” Mr. Ryan said.

“In August the Government announced 109 grants for CFA brigades to purchase appliances and equipment such as Light Tankers, Field Command Vehicles, Thermal Imaging Cameras, chainsaws and safety equipment.”

“As part of the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program, $5,000 will also be allocated to every brigade group for the acquisition of auxiliary equipment specifically suited to their own brigade’s requirements. This could include training aids, station items and/or operational equipment.”

Mr. Ryan said the CFA was one of the world’s largest volunteer-based emergency service organisations with 59,000 members, and the Coalition Government was proud to be supporting Victoria’s emergency services volunteers by providing them with the essential tools and equipment they needed to save lives and property.

Further Information On CFA Field Training Ground Capital Works Underway In Victoria

1. Regional Field Training Grounds located at Huntly, West Sale, Longerenong, Wangaratta and Penshurst will have the following additional resources under the Victorian Government support package for CFA volunteers:

  • Breathing apparatus compressor/ filling station capacity;
  • Upgraded classroom facilities which may be integrated with Breathing Apparatus facilities, a first aid station, toilets, showers, and lunch facilities;
  • Off-road driver training facilities (except Wangaratta where two remote facilities will be established in the Hume Region).

2. A newly-established Field Training Ground will be built in the Sunraysia district which is likely to incorporate the above facilities.

3. Four new concrete training pads are nearly complete at West Sale at a cost of $610,000. The concrete pads can accommodate the weight of CFA vehicles and are used for hot fire training, among other training requirements.

4. A portable classroom facility and burn cell will be built at the Wangaratta CFA Field Training Ground. A burn cell is used to demonstrate flashover and other phenomenon of fire in a controlled environment.