THE Leongatha Fire Brigade’s magnificent $2.45m Bair Street fire station was officially opened on Sunday.
Easter Victoria MP Harriet Shing had the honour with CFA boad member Michael Freshwater.
Representing the Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett, Ms Shing said the state–of-the-art station will better cater for the brigade’s needs.
The new station replaces the brigade’s previous base in Anderson Street that was built in 1932.
It has a four-bay motor room, meeting room, office space, storage, workshop, breathing apparatus cleaning facility and a local command facility.
The Leongatha Fire Brigade was formed in 1907.
It has 34 members and attends approximately 100 calls per year as well as supporting other brigades across Victoria and interstate.
The new station cost $2.45 million and was funded from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) Capital Works program.
“The new station will provide a much better working environment for the 34 volunteers of Leongatha CFA,” Ms Shing said.
“For 108 years Leongatha CFA has been serving the local community and members deserve a modern base from which to work.
“The Victorian Government supports and stands with those who put their lives on the line to protect the community, and we are committed to providing effective support and investment to maintain and build volunteer fire fighter capacity.”
Mr Freshwater said such a facility will enhance training opportunities for volunteers.
“Hopefully it will be a real tool to attract new members. Brigades need new blood. Us older members can only go on for so long.
“On behalf of the CFA board, I’d like to thank the brigade members for the work they do for the community.”
Greg Clifford, the First Lieutenant of the brigade, said firefighting technology has come a long way in recent times.
“Out of disasters come for understanding of what’s understood about fire suppression, and that changing technology is reflected in what we have today.”
He thanked the CFA, and in particular District 9 Operations Manager Mark Jones for seeing the project through; previous captains and committees, life members, all members and the fire brigade auxiliary known as the Firebirds.
“This is a very proud day for all of us,” he said.