Rural Fire Service benefits from record budget boost

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

Queensland Rural Fire Service volunteers will reap the benefits of more than $72 million in the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services budget, including $10 million for frontline resources and facilities.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan visited the regional Queensland Fire and Emergency Services regional headquarters and fire and rescue station in Maryborough today to announce another exciting project in the 2022-23 Queensland Budget, which featured a record $23.6 billion investment in health as its cornerstone.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s total budget investment of $14.5 million for the replacement regional QFES headquarters and fire and rescue station will see this facility operational in the coming months providing significant benefits to both emergency services personnel and the public,” Minister Ryan said.

“In addition to this impressive site, a commitment has now been made to funding towards another site for a new RFS Maryborough Area brigade headquarters, including a QFES training facility, meeting rooms, an incident control centre and deployment facilities.”

“One million dollars also has been committed to the RFS facilities program, which will be allocated to maintaining and upgrading stations across the state, as well as $500,000 in capital grants which will go directly to RFS brigades.

“A number of new rural fire stations will be constructed around the state, to safely accommodate and maintain assets. In addition, these stations will provide a venue to support brigade and area training activities.”

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said this year’s budget prioritised future-proofing the state’s fire and emergency services, including funding for multiple new and upgraded RFS stations.

“Our fire services provide exceptional service to their community and the State Government is committed to ensuring they have the best resources and facilities possible at their fingertips,” he said.

“I am particularly pleased that our hard-working and dedicated volunteers in Maryborough are being backed with funding from the Palaszczuk Government to ensure they have the resources to continue the marvellous work they do in protecting our community.”

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said additional funding placed into assets and infrastructure would greatly benefit QFES’ more than 28,000 RFS volunteers.

“Our RFS volunteers work year-round, not only fighting bushfires but also undertaking bushfire mitigation, community education and providing emergency response to a wide range of incidents,” he said.

“In recent years we have watched as our volunteers worked tirelessly to protect their communities from devastating bushfires and their heroic efforts cannot be understated.

“Funding new and upgraded facilities, like this complex at Maryborough, provides backing to RFS volunteers as they continue their extraordinary work.

“The RFS has provided many proud years of service to this state and further investment ensures it has a very bright future ahead.

“The safety of our volunteers is paramount which is why approximately 200 RFS Medium Attack appliances will be fitted with a cabin deluge system, the requirements for which have which has been co-designed with the Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland.

“Crew safety is always at the forefront of QFES operations and having the cabin deluge system fitted to RFS vehicles provides an extra layer of protection should the unthinkable happen.”

RFBAQ president Ian Pike said rural fire brigades deserved the best possible technology to ensure their safety.

“This system will allow a crew to take shelter in the vehicle in the face of an oncoming fire and will greatly enhance their chance of survival, “Mr Pike said.

“They perform a dangerous, sometimes life-threatening job so we have to make sure they are protected while they are protecting others.”

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