News & Media

Upgrade to south west training facility

Emergency services volunteers from across South West Victoria will now have better access to vital practical training thanks to an $837,928 upgrade of Penhurst Training campus. 

The Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre - Penshurst Campus, opened today near Hamilton.

The upgrade to the facility is the third in a $7.75 million Victorian Government Fixed Training Infrastructure Program, which aims to give emergency services volunteers better access to training and education services.

CFA Executive Director of Operational Training and Volunteerism, Lex de Man AFSM, said it was the culmination of five years’ planning to improve training across Victoria.

The Penshurst training campus has been operating for 21 years.

“By enhancing regional training facilities such as the EMV Training Centre – Penshurst Campus, we are ensuring our emergency services volunteers have the skills and experience needed to protect their local communities,” Mr de Man said.

“Training offered at these centres is practical and scenario-based, meaning members can experience ‘live fire’ in a safe, controlled and realistic environment.

“This is essential for preparing our members for the varied and often complex types of fires and other incidents they will attend.”

The upgrade includes new well-equipped breathing apparatus facilities, a classroom, first aid room, dirty mess area, staff room and two offices.

Mr de Man said upgrades of other EMV Training Centres at Longerenong, Huntly, Wangaratta, West Sale and a new facility at Mildura in 2015, would also ensure the majority of Victoria’s emergency service volunteers would not have to travel hours to access training.

The improvements are also consistent with recommendations from the 2011 Jones Inquiry into CFA’s arrangements with its volunteers, which urged better access for volunteer training.

Mr de Man said that with $25 million in improvements to the Fiskville training campus, and the new Emergency Management Victoria Training Centre at Craigieburn, Victoria’s emergency service personnel now had access to some of the best practical training facilities anywhere in the country.

“The network of training facilities means no matter what the hazard or the agency, all those who put their hand up to protect lives and property have access to the best training facilities available,” he said.

More than 37,000 CFA volunteer operational firefighters and around 700 CFA career firefighters protect 65 per cent of Melbourne and all of regional and rural Victoria.

Last Updated: 24 September 2014