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New era for Rushworth
After more than six months of feverish activity, construction of Rushworth‘s new Fire Station in Murchison Road is now complete, and the complex will be officially opened on Saturday 19 October.
In the meantime, Rushworth Fire Brigade has been granted access to the building and the transfer of brigade activities is already nearing completion.The brigade’s fleet of vehicles and firefighters' personal protective clothing was transferred on Tuesday evening (24 September).
The new fire station is Rushworth’s fourth. Previous sites have included Horne Street (behind the Shire Hall), the old Ambulance Station in High Street and the Moora Road station at the northern end of High Street.
Rushworth Fire Brigade last moved to new premises in February 1939, six weeks after the Black Friday bushfires that killed 71 people, destroyed 1300 homes and incinerated more than two million hectares of Victorian forests and farmland.
This time, the move has been timed to ensure that RFB members gain complete familiarity with the layout and functionality of the new station prior to the onset of the coming Fire Danger Period.
“The days when firies could turn out to a bushfire on the back of a ute with little more than a knapsack, beater and water bottle are gone forever,” Rushworth Captain Graeme Wall noted recently. “And before that, people fought town fires with bucket brigades and a hand-powered water pump. Modern firefighting depends on both training and preparedness, and spending time at the new facility before summer call-outs will help smooth the transition from the old fire station to its state-of-the-art replacement."
The new station will serve as headquarters for both the Rushworth Brigade and the CFA’s Waranga Group of brigades. Group Officer Frank Oliver describes the new complex as “magnificent - exactly what we need to deliver firefighting support to brigades in the Waranga area.”
Equipped with a comprehensive array of digital communications and information technology equipment, the building can also serve as a Local Command Facility to assist a major Incident Control Centre during a significant emergency in the area.
Surprise Tanker arrival
Rushworth’s new Medium Tanker arrived for brigade familiarisation on Tuesday evening. The new behemoth is the very latest in general-purpose rural tankers. Its entire crew is accommodated within a cabin that includes a powerful protection system employing water sprays and internal radiant heat reflecting curtains.
The new tanker will also be formally accepted by the Brigade on 19 October.
Public station opening
The official opening of the new fire station is an occasion for celebration by the whole of Rushworth, and everyone is invited to be part of this historic occasion. It will also include presentation of awards to recognise the services of past and present members.
The opening will be a great opportunity for members of the public to explore their extraordinary new fire station, then enjoy the community sausage-sizzle that follows.
The brigade would especially like to hear from former Rushworth members (senior and junior), Ladies Auxiliary members, and colleagues from other brigades and emergency services who plan to attend.
Graeme Wall acknowledged that it was not possible to extend personal written invitations to “the vast numbers of people who have helped the brigade over the years - hence, the open invitation to everyone!
“There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to support the brigade’s participation in the Movember Australia Men’s Health movement by making a donation on opening day," he added.