State’s first Aboriginal volunteer emergency services unit officially opened

  • One of WA’s largest Aboriginal communities has become the first to have its own dedicated Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) unit
  • New Bidyadanga unit significantly improves response times in surrounding areas including the Great Northern Highway
  • Bidyadanga Fire and Emergency Services Facility officially opened today

The remote north-west Bidyadanga community has become the first Aboriginal community in Western Australia to have its own Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service unit capable of responding to bushfires and other hazards.


The Bidyadanga Fire and Emergency Services Facility was officially opened today by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan and Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm.


The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has been working with the Bidyadanga community since 2011 to help facilitate the creation of the VFES unit.


Extensive training and support continues to be provided by DFES to further the unit’s capabilities, now and into the future.


In the past six months the Bidyadanga VFES attended more than a dozen scrub and bushfires, and a truck fire on Great Northern Highway.


Prior to the unit’s establishment, response times to bushfires around the community were over two hours because the nearest crews were 180 kilometres away in Broome.


As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:


“The Bidyadanga community and local ranger groups have a long and proud history of using fire to mitigate bushfire risks and protect their community and lands.


“The establishment of the Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services unit has helped to empower local residents to protect community infrastructure if fire threatens their community or Great Northern Highway.


“The Bidyadanga VFES unit is a fantastic example of a remote community meeting its own community safety needs as well as being there to help others in the surrounding areas.”


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