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More Victorian firefighters deployed to SA
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson has farewelled another 19 CFA firefighters departing for South Australia this afternoon.
They join another 80 Victorian emergency service personnel from CFA and DELWP (formerly DEPI), including frontline firefighters and support staff, already assisting the states bushfire emergency.
The majority are strike teams who will work on the fire line, while staff will also support the operation of Victoria’s two large air tankers, RJ and Hercules, currently based in Adelaide.
Chief Officer Ferguson, who also served as Country Fire Service Chief Officer until 2010, said it was an honour to help out across the border.
“During 2009, I was responsible for sending South Australian crews to help out following Black Saturday,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Today we're proud Victoria can go some way to repaying that debt at a time when South Australians are battling their worst fires in a decade.”
Mr Ferguson said most of the personnel flying into Adelaide this afternoon would be deployed straight out onto trucks tonight.
He praised the willingness of crews from Victoria and their families in responding to the call for help.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said that with conditions in Victoria easing since the weekend, Victoria was ready to help.
“It’s a sign of how well the States work together during fires and other emergencies that we were able to dispatch crews and aircraft so swiftly,” he said.
“Less than a year ago crews from South Australia, Tasmania, NSW, the ACT and Queensland were assisting Victoria battle the Morwell Mine Fire.”
Mr Lapsley said Victoria would continue to provide support to South Australia for as long as it was needed.
A CFA strike team from District 13 comprised of members from South Warrandyte, Seville, Bayswater, Yarra Junction, Upper Ferntree Gully, Hillcrest, Sassafras & Ferny Creek Belgrave, Lilydale, Emerald ,Ferntree Gully, Yellingbo, Wesburn - Millgrove Little Yarra and Menzies Creek Brigades flew to South Australia yesterday to join members from the following CFA brigades already there fighting the fires: Beeac, Bungador, Colac, Corangamite, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Bellbrae, Connewarre, Freshwater Creek, Winchelsea, Dartmoor Group, Gorae West, Heathmere, Heywood, Merino Group, Portland, Sandford, Mt. Rouse Group, Bochara, Branxholme, Peterborough, Port Fairy Woolsthorp