News & Media

Portland Coast Guard Brigade

By: Sharon Mifsud

Category: Partnerships

  12.31 PM 18 December, 2014

Location: District 4 News

Views: 1136

Each year Coast Guard volunteers perform thousands of activations.

Rescues range from assisting sinking vessels, vessels with flat batteries and other mechanical problems, vessels that have run aground and often towing these disabled vessels back to safe harbour.

As well, when emergencies arise, Coast Guard plays an extremely important role in the safety of mariners around our vast Australian coastline, far out to sea, and in many of our inland waterways. These emergencies can sometimes involve a fire risk. Therefore, the Coast Guards also have a CFA Brigade. This is a separate structure to the Coast Guard Management Team and includes the same as all other brigades ie A Captain, Secretary and Lieutenants. The same regulations apply to the Coast Guard Brigade and this can sometimes create challenges – It’s a vessel not a fire truck is one of the many differences.

The District 4 Catchment Teams and the Portland Fire Brigade have worked very closely with the Portland Coast Guard Brigade over the years to help understand the complexities and to offer support. The Portland Coast Guard Brigade do not have an office locally, therefore the Portland Service Centre serves as a place for the Coast Guard to regularly meet, hold training sessions/presentations and receive administrational support just like all other brigades. The Portland Brigade Members over the years have assisted with Operational training for the Coast Guard. We now have Coast Guard volunteers who are also trained as firefighters which have also become volunteers of the Portland Fire Brigade. Some Coast Guard Members have also completed Bomber Loader Training and joined the District 4 Headquarters Brigade to provide a service at the Portland and Casterton airports.

Over the years strong relationships have been formed between the groups and is the reason for the success of a strong and functional Coast Guard Brigade in District 4. Recently the VFBV and Brigade Sustainability were invited to District 4 to speak to the team about their reasons for success. Lessons learnt from District 4 may assist in other areas.

Last Updated: 18 December 2014