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Rutherglen brigade, Lions stunned by local support
The Rutherglen Lions Club has helped Rutherglen Fire Brigade to raise $50,000 towards the cost of a second tanker and is joining the brigade to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to local residents and businesses.
The addition of another fire truck means the town and surrounding rural area will be better covered during the summer fire season, even if one tanker is committed to out-of-area strike teams.
Rutherglen Captain Glen Marquison and Lieutenant David Hawkey expressed their sincere thanks on behalf of the brigade.
“We are simply stunned by the Rutherglen community’s generous support,” they said.
The medium tanker, set to be delivered in the middle of the year, is part-funded by a $310,000 state government grant under the Victorian Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP), which provides two dollars for every one dollar raised by brigades towards the cost of new vehicles or equipment.
In an effort help meet the $50,000 shortfall, the Rutherglen Lions Club launched a fundraising appeal with spectacular results, raising nearly $20,000. According to Lions Club president and relative newcomer Herb Ellerbock, this example of generosity had really vindicated his decision to move to Rutherglen.
The local Lion’s fundraising effort was then bolstered by an additional $15,000 from the Australian Lions Club Foundation.
Rutherglen Fire Brigade also conducted a scrap metal drive which raised $1,300 and a raffle through the Rutherglen IGA Supermarket which raised a further $3,920, and were able to make up the remaining cost from their own funds.
Since 2010 the Rutherglen Brigade has increasing contributed to strike teams for fires at Corryong and Jerilderie (January 2013), an extended deployment to the Mt Hotham/Dinner Plain fire (January-February 2013), Tallangatta and Corryong (January 2014), and Wallan (February 2014).
Rutherglen members were involved in interstate deployments for the NSW Blue Mountains fires in October 2013 and responded to major floods in 2010 and 2012.
Glen and David said the brigade remained committed to supporting strike teams in the future.
“This new tanker will allow us to do our bit to support our fellow brigades in the north-east and further afield while keeping Rutherglen safe,” they said.