A South-West bushfire brigade has been equipped with a world-class firefighting truck as part of the McGowan Government’s $140 million investment in frontline appliances.
Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson and Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM officially handed over a new 4.4 Broadacre Tanker to the Hithergreen Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade (VBFB) today.
In consultation with volunteers, the appliance has been specially designed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) to suit the needs of Western Australian firefighters, with much of the manufacturing done in the State.
Being rolled out to volunteer emergency services groups across WA, the fit-for-purpose 4.4 Broadacre Tankers are built with the latest safety features to protect crews.
In a significant upgrade the highly durable vehicles can carry 4,000 litres of water, the brigade’s older appliance could only carry 3,000L.
Hithergreen VBFB responded to 22 incidents over the recent summer period. Crews put in multiple shifts at two Level 3 bushfires that threatened lives and property around Margaret River and Bridgetown.
The brigade, which has been operating for more than 70 years, is made up of 40 registered members with support from several local families that go back three generations.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“DFES responded to 96 bushfires in the South-West over the recent high-threat period, which is why our firefighters need state-of-the-art appliances to keep their local communities safe.
“Our volunteer firefighters respond to bushfire emergencies at a moment’s notice, which is why the McGowan Government provides them with fit-for-purpose equipment that boasts the latest safety features.
“On behalf of the McGowan Government, I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to brigades like Hithergreen VBFB which fought incredibly bravely to bring incidents like the Bridgetown bushfire under control and protect their local communities.”