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Wonthaggi Fire Station opening
Welcome to the new Wonthaggi Fire Station. I stand here today 15th Feb, proud to be a part of the best volunteer organisation in the world.
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all of the supporters in our community that are present today. Your past, present and ongoing assistance both financially and in kind have enabled this project to become a reality. Thanks to you, we now occupy a facility that is second to none and the envy of many within our organisation.
Thank you to the membership of the brigade. You have been focused, dedicated and have committed the time and effort that was required to ensure that we achieved the best possible outcome with this build process. A project of this magnitude requires a lot of planning and input from people with expert knowledge. The committee worked tirelessly to achieve a floor plan that was not only suitable for the requirements of the brigade today, but well into the future.
The members and committee identified some items that were not being supplied by the CFA and decided that during the build it was wise to add on these extra items. The installation of automatic security gates, alarm system, FOB entry system, cameras and a good size family BBQ facility were amongst the items. This was a commitment of approx $100k. Money for this was raised by conducting fundraising activities and through our fire extinguisher maintenance program.
This project would also not have been possible without the fantastic support of the Bass Coast Shire. The Brigade and Bass Coast Shire have a very strong working relationship together and have created a partnership that benefits the community.
The brigade occupied the site in Watt St for around 100 years and over time there were several changes made to the infrastructure but were proven that the facility was no longer suitable for the future requirements of a brigade.
As well as celebrating the official opening of this facility, we also celebrate today, the official handover of the keys to our Type 4 heavy pumper. This vehicle will help us to not only serve our community to a high standard but will also serve to assist our neighbours in our support role to them.
Last but not least, there are some people and organisations that I would like to thank. The members, life members, ex members and families, you have made the brigade what it is today.
BASO Shane Keen for your assistance in putting today together, nothing has been an issue for you and you have helped us greatly through the process.
Ex Captain Bill Watson AFSM, thank you for agreeing to MC this event, I know you have a personal attachment to this brigade and it is an honour for us for you to be here.
Secretary Wendy Donohue for co-ordinating the catering.
Regional Director Peter Schmidt AFSM, for ensuring that the funding was secured for the project to proceed and for the guidance along the way.
Wonthaggi Citizens band for helping us to celebrate today. You too are a part of this town’s history and we wish you luck with your new building.
The Inter church council of Wonthaggi and Inverloch for being part of today’s proceedings and agreeing to bless our facilities.
Regional staff, in particular OM Trevor Owen for ensuring that our equipment is in fitting with the profile of this brigade (and for the extra 2 BA that are coming)
In closing, could I thank the CFA. We appreciate the financial commitment that has been made to our community. We are proud to be the first custodians of this facility and will treat it in a manner that is fitting, to ensure that it remains a facility that will serve well those that occupy it into the future.
These are excerpts from Captain Kim O’Connors speech on the day.
Images by Keith Pakenham - CFA Photographer.