Minister for Emergency Services media release 5 May 2015.
The Andrews Labor Government has increased emergency services funding, because making our community safe starts with protecting the people who protect our families.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests $78 million to recruit more firefighters, boost their skills, upgrade resources and provide more support. Funding will also upgrade facilities for lifesavers and the State Emergency Service.
To increase the ranks of emergency service personnel, the Budget includes funds to commence the recruitment of 450 additional career firefighters – because more boots on the ground means more homes and properties are safe.
New firefighters will receive high-quality training, but not at the Fiskville Training Centre which was recently closed amid health and safety fears. The Budget invests $300,000 to plan for the change.
Training is vital, and it will be improved further with $9.6 million to fund the Emergency Management Response (EMR) program at 33 integrated CFA stations. EMR dispatches firefighters at the same time as paramedics, increasing survival chances for heart attack patients.
The Budget provides $33.5 million to give firefighters the resources they need to do their job. The money will purchase 70 new CFA trucks – 20 more than promised.
The new fleet will comprise 20 medium tankers, 40 heavy tankers and 10 medium pumpers that will incorporate modern up-to-date firefighting technology, boosting the ability and safety of the volunteers who crew them.
The Budget provides $11 million to build and upgrade CFA stations and amenities, to help units grow and give firefighters a safe and comfortable place to meet and train.
$9.6 million in funding will build new stations in Huntly, Buninyong, Plenty and Edithvale and upgrade the station at Wattle Glen. Toilets and bathroom facilities will be installed at CFA stations at a cost of $1 million.
A new emergency services hub for fire and ambulance services will be established at Morwell, with a further investment of $3 million to purchase land for the new station.
To care for those who care for us, the Budget invests $200,000 to expand support services for firefighters suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. A two year grant to the Austin Health Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital will help affected firefighters, who can be exposed to horrific scenes every time they are on shift.
The Budget also supports the thousands of lifesavers who, every summer, protect families in Victorian waters. $4.7 million in funding will refurbish facilities at Ocean Grove Surf Lifesaving Club and improve training facilities at South Melbourne Surf Lifesaving Club.
To keep up with the fast-growing population in Bellarine, the local SES headquarters will receive $150,000 in the Budget for a new training room and storage facility – building a base that will help the unit grow.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett
“The Andrews Labor Government stands with our brave emergency services personnel. We’re protecting the people who protect us.”
“We’re recruiting more firefighters, because more boots on the ground means more homes are safe.”
“We’re giving them the resources they need to do their job – safe, modern and comfortable facilities to meet and train in, and the most up-to-date trucks and equipment to keep them secure.”