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More career firefighters for Portland Fire Station
Eight career firefighters will transfer from Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) to join the Portland CFA brigade.
Starting this week, CFA’s Portland Fire Station is now staffed by career firefighters around the clock. Ten recruit career firefighters have also joined the brigade, after graduating from the Victorian Emergency Management Training College (VEMTC) in Craigieburn, Melbourne this month. The recruits will be supported by former-MFB firefighters as they continue training on station.
Staff increases will ease pressure on dedicated volunteers who have previously been responsible for responding to more than 150 incidents a year. The work is part of CFA’s Growth Programs – a state government commitment to enhance service delivery across Victoria.
Increasing staff at Portland has evolved in stages. After being a mostly-volunteer brigade assisted by one career firefighter, five more career firefighters joined the brigade in January, rostered during business hours Monday to Friday. The 18 additional career firefighters will ensure the Portland brigade can respond to incidents 24/7.
Portland’s Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Terry Heafield said his focus will be on ensuring new and existing members work together to further contribute to the brigade and community.
“I’m new to Portland, alongside our former-MFB firefighters and new recruits, so we’re all looking forward to getting to know existing members and building a strong connection with our community,” Mr Heafield said.
“As Portland is a relatively isolated area, it’s a tight-knit community. Both the existing career firefighters and volunteers are eager to work with our new colleagues to continue protecting life and property in our community.”
The former MFB career firefighters will move to Portland from Melbourne suburbs including Tullamarine, Glen Waverly and Sunshine. They have completed four weeks training to enhance skills and knowledge including wildfire response, as well as the history and structure of CFA. The new recruits join Portland after completing a 20-week course, as part of the Victorian Recruit Firefighter Course at VEMTC.
Station Officer Matthew Molloy is looking forward to the sea-change lifestyle Portland has to offer.
“I love getting outdoors to go camping with my wife and six children. We also love going for long drives and we can’t wait to explore the Glenelg Shire,” Mr Molloy said.
“I’m bringing my family over from Melbourne and we’re really looking forward to making new friends and getting involved in the Portland community.”