(left to right): Captain Kathy Quinlan and Chief Officer Jason Heffernan with Minister Symes
A new rehabilitation vehicle has officially been handed to District 12 Headquarters Brigade by Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes.
The $129,000 vehicle supports firefighter and emergency service personnel health at incidents. It was funded by the 2020-21 Victorian Government’s Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program, supplemented by a brigade contribution of $3,500.
As one of only 16 specialised rehabilitation vehicles used by CFA brigades across the state, the addition of this unit is welcomed by not only District 12 Headquarters Brigade, but all brigades in CFA’s North East Region.
Captain Kathy Quinlan said the brigade covers a large response area including the municipal areas of Murrindindi and Mitchell, supporting a total of 38 brigades in CFA’s District 12.
“The brigade and community alike will greatly benefit from this new asset,” Kathy said.
“The vehicle boosts our capacity to safely respond to a wider range of emergency incidents.
“Our members take the new truck out and about whenever we can to familiarise themselves with the features and benefits of the vehicle.”
Since becoming operational in December, the specialised vehicle has already been used nine times this year to support firefighters and agency partners during emergency response. One of which was the recent Flowerdale fire, which saw over 1,000 hectares burnt.
As a former paramedic, 1st Lieutenant of District 12 Headquarters Brigade, Darrel Warren, appreciates the benefits of the appliance’s specialised equipment.
“The new appliance not only provides rehabilitation and health monitoring for firefighters at staging areas, but it is also well equipped for use on the fireground,” he said.
“We have a good team of current and former health professionals, who can provide basic health monitoring including examining vital indicators such as temperature, blood pressure checks and blood oxygen levels, as well as monitoring hydration and carbon monoxide levels.”
There are many current and former health professionals within the District 12 Headquarters Brigade such as nurses, rehabilitation specialists and doctors, who bring skills that can be applied when using the features of the new appliance.
“It really shows that CFA brigades are a representation of the communities they serve.”