News & Media

$66 million radio upgrade

By: CFA Media

Category: Events / Fundraising / Offers, Operational Information

  2.15 PM 17 June, 2014

Location: District 24 News, General

Views: 5054

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response, Kim Wells today welcomed the rollout of a new multi-million dollar communications system for regional CFA brigades.

*Victorian Government Media Release*

  • New $66 million communications system for regional CFA brigades
  • Regional Radio Dispatch Service will enhance emergency response capabilities in regional Victoria
  • Napthine Government building a better and safer Victoria.


Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response, Kim  Wells today welcomed the rollout of a new multi-million dollar  communications system for regional CFA brigades.

Launching the Regional Radio Dispatch Service (RRDS) at the Whiteheads  Creek-Tarcombe fire station, Mr Wells said the new system would reduce the  risk of dispatch communication failures and improve coordination between  emergency services agencies.

“The Victorian Coalition Government today launched a new $66.24 million  communications system which will significantly enhance emergency  management response capabilities in regional Victoria,” Mr Wells said.

“This world class technology forms part of the Napthine Government’s  commitment to ensuring our firefighters have the tools, resources and  support needed to do their job.

“The new system will allow direct voice communications between  firefighters responding to incidents in regional Victoria with Emergency  Services Telecommunication Authority (ESTA) and dispatch operators  (VicFire).

“RRDS will ensure reliable 24/7 communications between State Emergency  Communication Centre dispatchers and responding emergency appliances, and  ensure service delivery is consistent across the state.”

Joined by Nationals Candidate for Euroa Stephanie Ryan and Members for  Northern Victoria Region Wendy Lovell and Amanda Millar, Mr Wells said the  new system would reduce the risk of dispatch communications failures,  improving firefighter and community safety in regional Victoria.

“Previously, approximately 45 per cent of CFA’s rural brigades had no  direct contact with ESTA and relied on base station operators to relay  urgent incident messages,” Mr Wells said.

“Already six CFA districts, including Whiteheads Creek-Tarcombe CFA  station, are using RRDS, with the remaining brigades to transfer to the  new system by August.

“Digital, state-wide coverage, improved audio clarity and quality are key  benefits of RRDS which also eliminates some known ‘dead spots’ experienced  in the old system.”

Mr Wells said the Coalition Government has a proven commitment to  firefighters and has provided more funding to Victoria’s fire agencies  than any previous government.

“Since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the  CFA with more than $2.29 billion. This financial year the CFA Budget is

$457 million, $58 million more than under the last Labor Budget.

“The Coalition Government recently announced another significant boost to  the CFA’s emergency response capabilities, investing more than $29 million  in the purchase of 78 new vehicles,” Mr Wells said.

“These investments in the CFA highlight the Coalition Government's strong  commitment to the CFA and recognises the critical role our career and  volunteer firefighters play in keeping Victorians safe.”

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Video and images by Keith Pakenham

Last Updated: 18 June 2014