July 20, 2018

NEW FIREFIGHTING PUMPER FOR AUSTRALIA’S OLDEST BRIGADE

Ballarat Fire Brigade volunteers are responding to emergencies in a new medium pumper, providing a major boost to the oldest operating brigade in the Southern Hemisphere.

Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard, representing Emergency Services Minister James Merlino, officially handed over the pumper to brigade members today.

The state-of-the-art vehicle costs about $600,000, and has been funded through the CFA’s Pumper Replacement Program.

It boasts the latest technology, including seats with attached breathing apparatus – allowing firefighters to don the apparatus en route to emergencies – as well as an improved pump-operating system and safety features.

The new pumper replaces the brigade’s previous medium pumper, and rounds out a fleet of four operational vehicles.

The Ballarat Fire Brigade was established in 1856 and currently has 59 volunteer members.

It is believed to be the second oldest brigade in the world to continuously operate out of the same station, and was the first Victorian brigade to have a steam pumper.

The brigade responds on overage to more than 500 incidents each year, protecting a diverse area that encompasses residential properties, businesses, farming communities, pine plantations, orchards and bush land.

Members have attended a number of major incidents in the past, including the Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday bushfires and the Trawalla train crash in 2006.

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard

“The Ballarat Fire Brigade has the remarkable distinction of serving this community for more than 160 years.”

“The brigade’s dedicated volunteers are a credit to our emergency services, and deserve to have the best firefighting vehicles and equipment.”

“This new medium pumper will help volunteers continue to provide a comprehensive service to Ballarat and surrounding areas.”