Our firefighters will be kitted-out with new high-tech equipment, while the State Emergency Service will benefit from infrastructure upgrades, amid a Marshall Liberal Government funding boost to build a safer South Australia.
The Metropolitan Fire Service will receive funding of $4.3 million over four years for 1,100 state-of-the-art helmets and 500 new breathing apparatus units, while the SES will benefit from a $1 million boost over four years for facility upgrades.
The $1 million will bring the total SES capital funding program to $4.5 million per year and allow the SES to renew and revitalise stations and equipment.
It will complement the Government’s $5 million Project Renew, which has already reinvigorated CFS stations through 109 projects in South Australia and a further $9.5 million included in last year’s budget to increase our state’s aerial firefighting fleet.
The MFS will also buy four new “turnkey” fire trucks as part of its 2019-20 capital works program.
Minister for Police, Correctional Services and Emergency Services Corey Wingard said the trucks were part of the State Government’s commitment to provide the best possible resources for our Emergency Services.
Funding for emergency services, including protective equipment and facilities, is provided from the Emergency Services Levy.
The ESL will also provide $1.6 million towards supporting the MFS with medical testing of firefighters and remediation of appliances and sites that have been exposed to per- and ply-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – a chemical found in firefighting foam.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has committed to building a safer South Australia and resourcing our emergency services with the facilities and equipment they need to carry out their vitally important work is a key part of that promise,” Minister Wingard said.
The current helmet design is 20 years old.
New advancements will include in-helmet telemetry/communication equipment, as compared to externally mounted portable radios.
The SES funding will enable the service to revitalise stations through the provision of onsite ablution blocks, change room facilities, additional storage sheds and other building works that will improve operational efficiency.
The flow-on effects of the additional funding to the SES include:
• Providing the basic amenities required to support increased diversity of volunteer membership
• Increased recruitment and retention of volunteers due to improved facilities from which to operate from
• Meeting the SES’s regulatory requirements including the Work, Health and Safety Act 2012 and Return to Work Act 2015