Some 300 people toured the new and improved Wodonga Fire Station on Saturday, 4 May, during the Official Opening and Community Day.
Balloons bobbed from children’s wrists and people munched on free sausages-in-bread and deliciously crispy donuts while picking up the latest home fire safety information and checking out some impressive specialist firefighting vehicles on display.
Officer-in-charge Ashley Mills was pleased with how the day panned out.
“The Brigade proudly marching into the station led by our new heavy pumper fire truck and followed by a local pipe band was a real spectacle. It was a pretty special way to officially open this incredible new station,” Mr Mills said.
“We were grateful to have the Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, City of Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie and DCO Garry Cook (CFA A/Executive Director, People & Culture) to help us with the formal part of the day.
“DCO Cook also presented a Commendation of Brave Conduct to former Brigade member Jeff Borlace who had travelled from Queensland to attend our opening. Jeff had received the medal in 2000 so it was great to be able to finally give him the associated certificate during such a special event.”
Once the marching and speeches were complete, Brigade members could relax and join the growing number of residents who had come to enjoy the festivities.
“It was great to see the locals come down to have a look around, and chat to our volunteer and career firefighters throughout the day,” Mr Mills said.
“Our Community Safety representatives handed out brochures and sticks designed to check smoke alarm batteries mounted on ceilings. The kids crawled through the ‘smoke house’ we’d set up to give them practice if they ever needed to escape from a house fire.
“We mixed up the serious stuff with some fun entertainment including a free jumping castle and face-painting.”
Wodonga Fire Station has been operational since 22 January. The $7.8 million station has five engine bays and 10 bedrooms to support firefighters in preparation and recovery from the growing number of incidents in Wodonga, resulting from strong population growth as the fourth largest city in regional Victoria. The project was part of CFA’s 350 Firefighter Program (P350) – a Victorian Government commitment to improve service delivery through growing the workforce and enhancing infrastructure and equipment.