New solar power equipment to help rural firefighters in the Darling Downs region

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford today handed over solar equipment to the Kogan and District Rural Fire Brigade (RFB) under a special $75,000 program.

Visiting the area during the Palaszczuk Government’s Governing from the Regions program, Mr Crawford said the new equipment would be a “valuable asset for volunteers”.

“Due to the earlier and busier start to this year’s bushfire season, this equipment will enable volunteers to have their lights on when they get back from fighting fires without having to use a generator,” Mr Crawford said.

“Solar power is environmentally friendly and helps to reduce ongoing costs, while also having the ability to generate an income through a government rebate for using less power.”

Mr Crawford said the brigade’s new equipment, worth more than $12,000, was provided under the $75,000 Energising Queensland Rural Fire Service (RFS) program.

Today’s handover is the last of five to remote areas in recent months, including Grantham, Rangewood, Bowen Delta and Wallumbilla.

“The equipment will help support the work of brigade members in protecting and building resilience in local communities,” he said.

“I’d like to thank the Rural Fire Service (RFS) partners Energy Queensland, through Energex, for supporting our hard-working volunteers.”

The Kogan and District RFB, established in 1966, has 27 active members and services an area of more than 460 square kilometres. Brigade members volunteer their time to help their local communities during fires, floods and other emergencies.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll, who attended today’s event, acknowledged the contribution of RFS volunteers to communities across the state.

“Rural fire volunteers are more than just firefighters, they are often leaders and mentors and form the backbone of their communities,” Ms Carroll said.

“The Kogan and District RFB has a command vehicle, which they use when it’s needed most to support six other RFB’s in the Tara area, and volunteers have provided many years of support in responding to grass and bushfires in the South Western Region.

“RFB’s don’t just fight bushfires, they also educate and help land owners with fire mitigation activities, participate in regional training exercises and assist neighbouring brigades with their mitigation activities.”

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