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State budget invests in a safer Victoria
Victoria will be better protected from fire and other emergencies thanks to a range of new budget allocations to CFA in this week’s State Budget.
The 2015/16 Budget includes $33.5 million dollars towards the building of 70 new frontline firefighting vehicles.
CFA Chief Executive Officer Michael Wootten said work had already begun on building 20 medium tankers, 40 heavy tankers and 10 medium pumpers, 50 of which will be built in Victoria – with a contract for the remaining 20 to be awarded in coming weeks.
“These state-of-the-art vehicles will cement CFA's fleet as one of the most advanced in Australia,” he said.
“These trucks will help CFA firefighters improve their capability to respond to a huge variety of emergencies while also improving safety for the community and our firefighters.”
Mr Wootten said an $11 million investment to build and upgrade CFA stations and amenities was also well received across the state.
“This provides improved service to the community and modern facilities for our members to work from in order to meet the future needs of the regions,” he said.
The Victorian Government has also earmarked $9.6 million to rollout the Emergency Medical Response (EMR) program to integrated brigades.
“This allows our firefighters to upgrade their lifesaving first aid skills and respond to life threatening medical emergencies while an ambulance is en route,” Mr Wootten said.
“EMR has already saved many lives during a pilot program so we’re thrilled to be working with Ambulance Victoria to expand this lifesaving program.”
Mr Wootten said there were several other items in the budget – including an additional 350 career firefighters – which would bolster the organisation.
“The additional 350 will bring our total number of career firefighters to more than 1,200, and they will support CFA’s 59,000 volunteers to protect life and property,” he said.
“We also welcome the substantial investment in emergency services and CFA which will contribute towards community safety in the Latrobe Valley.”