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Career fireys start at Sth Morang
South Morang fire station now has a permanent firefighter presence following the introduction of career firefighters yesterday (Monday 1 June) who will support the brigade’s volunteer members.
Three full-time firefighters are now based at South Morang during business hours, with the brigade’s volunteers continuing to respond at all times.
While the career firefighters will primarily service the suburbs of South Morang, they will also support brigades in Mernda, Doreen, Epping, Yarrambat and Plenty.
Operations Manager Trevor Roberts said the area was one of the fastest-growing in the State and the move would take the pressure off volunteers.
“Over the past decade, we have seen a steep rise in population and an equivalent rise in number of incidents requiring CFA attendance, and this trend is expected to continue,” he said.
“Career firefighters who work side by side and supporting our volunteers will give the community and the brigade an extra layer of service and support,” he said.
Mr Roberts said South Morang’s volunteer members would continue to respond and serve the community they have always done.
“South Morang is a strong brigade and a busy brigade that have kept homes and families safe through their dedication and commitment over many years. This change is about taking some of the pressure off volunteers and their families.”
1st Lieutenant James Stephens said that career staff would bring in more expertise and around fighting building fires – specialist skills which they could then pass on to volunteers.
“With the area becoming more built up it will be good have that expertise within the station."
“A lot of members are looking forward to having extra support with training – that will be a definite plus,” he said.
Career firefighter Adam Whitford, who comes to South Morang from Sunbury, and has worked as a CFA career firefighter around Victoria, said his first priority would be getting to know the territory.
“Local knowledge will be indispensable,” he said. “We’ll be tapping into the brigade’s knowledge and community contacts – and looking to pick up as much knowledge as we can as quickly as we can.”
The introduction of career firefighters follows a $1.5m renovation and extension project for the fire station.
Mr Roberts said the station would move to a 24-hour staffing model later in the year.
See also: In the mix at South Morang