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$1m upgrade for Wimmera training ground
Emergency services volunteers from around the Wimmera have better access to vital practical training thanks to a $1,010,519 upgrade of the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre – Longerenong Campus, which was opened near Horsham today (Sunday 14 September).
The upgrade to the facility is the second in a $7.75 million Victorian Government Fixed Training Infrastructure Program, to give emergency services volunteers better access to training and education services.
CFA Executive Director of Operational Training and Volunteerism, Lex de Man AFSM, said it was the culmination of five years planning to improve training across Victoria.
The Longerenong training campus has been operating for 20 years.
“Local facilities, such as the EMV Training Centre – Longerenong Campus are vital to ensuring emergency service volunteers have the skills and experience needed to protect their communities,” Mr de Man said.
“The opportunity to prepare for incidents with practical, scenario based training including experiencing live fire in a safe, controlled and realistic environment is essential.”
The upgrade includes new fully equipped breathing apparatus facilities, classroom, amenities and change rooms, first aid room, dirty mess area and drying room.
A new kitchen has been also been installed in an existing building. The works are in addition to the existing “hot fire” training practical area for drills.
Mr de Man said upgrades of other EMV Training Centres at Huntly, Wangaratta, Penshurst, West Sale and a new facility at Mildura in 2015, would also ensure the majority of Victoria’s emergency service volunteers would not have to travel hours to access training.
The improvements are also consistent with recommendations of the 2011 Jones Inquiry into CFA’s arrangements with its volunteers, which urged better access for volunteer training.
Mr de Man said in addition to the $25 million in improvements to the Fiskville training campus, and the new Emergency Management Victoria Training Centre at Craigieburn, Victoria’s emergency service personnel now have access to some of the best practical training facilities anywhere in the country.
“The network of training facilities means no matter what the hazard or the agency, all those who put their hand up to protect lives and property now have access to the best training facilities available,” he said.
More than 37,000 CFA volunteer operational firefighters and around 700 CFA career firefighters protect 65 per cent of Melbourne and all of regional and rural Victoria.