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$64.5m for equipment upgrades
Victorian Government Media Release
The Victorian Coalition Government will fund a $64.5 million upgrade to critical emergency services equipment for firefighters and the State’s Triple Zero service as part of the 2014-15 Victorian State Budget.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells said the Coalition Government is committed to building a better, safer Victoria and will invest:
- $20.5 million to replace Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) for Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) firefighters;
- $29 million for the CFA to acquire 78 additional vehicles; and
- $15 million to upgrade critical systems to support emergency call-taking and dispatch services at the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA).
“This State Budget highlights the Coalition Government’s commitment to ensuring our emergency services personnel are equipped to respond safely and effectively to emergencies across the state,” Mr Wells said.
“Funding in this budget will strengthen Victoria’s emergency response capabilities and provide our fire agencies with vital resources and improved equipment that will assist in protecting lives and property, and ensure our firefighters are better protected.”
Mr Wells said RPE worn by firefighters was essential in responding to structural and transport-related fire suppression, road rescue and hazardous material incidents.
“Funding through the 2014-15 Budget will see all existing RPE units replaced for MFB and CFA firefighters,” Mr Wells said.
“This is a significant investment in firefighter safety that will provide Victoria’s fire agencies with critical safety equipment to greatly reduce the risk of firefighters being exposed to airborne toxins and contaminants.
“The Coalition Government will also provide an investment of $29 million for the CFA to purchase 78 new firefighting vehicles, including four prototype vehicles.”
The $15 million upgrade to ESTA’s critical systems will replace an outdated 30-year-old platform, enabling voice switching across all State Emergency Communications Centres and enhanced voice recording.
“This upgrade will allow ESTA to better manage emergency call taking and dispatch for our Triple Zero service to Victorians,” Mr Wells said.
Mr Wells said the Coalition Government has provided more funding to
“Since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion and the MFB more than $1.45 billion,” Mr Wells said.
The 2014-15 Budget for the CFA is $457 million – $58 million more than under the last Labor Budget. The 2014-15 Budget for MFB is $326 million – $39 million more than under the last Labor Budget.
“This record investment highlights the Coalition Government’s true commitment to the State’s fire agencies and recognises the critical role our firefighters play in keeping Victorians safe.”