Major Cfa Vehicle Safety Upgrade Program Completed

• Victorian Coalition Government has completed a $23 million program to upgrade CFA vehicles across the state
• Almost 1050 vehicles have been fitted with an enhanced crew protection system
• Coalition Government building a better and safer Victoria

A $23 million Victorian Coalition Government funded program to improve the safety of firefighting vehicles has been completed with the final CFA tanker now upgraded.

At a ceremony at Glen Park CFA, near Ballarat, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells, said the upgrade of almost 1050 CFA vehicles was a major investment to protect the safety of Victoria’s volunteer firefighters.

“The first phase of the program was completed ahead of time and under budget, which has allowed an extra 74 vehicles, including Glen Park Brigade’s two-wheel-drive tanker, to be upgraded,” Mr Wells said.

“Our volunteer firefighters perform an incredible job protecting the lives and property of Victorians, and the Coalition Government is committed to ensuring our emergency services personnel are equipped to respond safely and effectively to emergencies.

“These upgrades provide for vehicles to be fitted with an enhanced crew protection system, which means Glen Park firefighters and thousands more across the state are better protected from the risk of injury or death.”

The safety features, added to vehicles built before 2006, include radiant heat protective curtains on cabin windows, installation of a Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) in the rear crew area, a water-spray system around the cabin and vehicle’s body and improved intercom communications between cabin occupants and crew in the ROPS area.

Mr Wells said investment in the program had also delivered an economic benefit to regional Victoria.

“Work on the Coalition Government funded appliance upgrades was completed at the CFA’s 13 district mechanical workshops, with an extra 25 people hired to deliver the project.”

Members for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay and David Koch both attended the ceremony and welcomed the vehicle upgrade for Glen Park brigade.

“Glen Park brigade provides a critical service for the local community and regularly assists neighbouring regions, most recently providing crews at the Grampians fire earlier this year.

“The improved vehicle will increase their capacity to perform vital work responding to emergencies locally and across the state,” Mr Ramsay said.

“The Coalition Government has a strong commitment to providing firefighters with the resources and support they need to do their job and I am pleased this program has delivered improved equipment for Glen Park brigade members,” Mr Koch said.

Mr Wells said since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $1.84 billion. This financial year the CFA Budget is $446 million; $47 million more than under the last Labor budget.

“Emergency services volunteers are the backbone of Victoria’s emergency response,” Mr Wells said.

“The Coalition Government is proud of the vital work performed by the CFA, one of the world’s largest volunteer organisations with more than 60,000 members – 98 per cent of them volunteers.”