On Sunday 18 August, past and present members of Inglewood Fire Brigade marched alongside historic vehicles from the Fire Services Museum from their old station to the official opening of the new station.
Established in 1864 at a local meeting of 150 people at the Royal Hotel in Inglewood, the fire brigade has operated from its Grant Street site for the past 154 years until the brigade moved into the new station in Southey Street in May this year.
The new $1.5 million facility includes three drive-through motor room bays, turnout areas for male and female volunteers, workshop and store room facilities. The fire station also includes a group office and local command facility (LCF) to accommodate the Loddon South Group.
The building also has a brigade office, multi-purpose room, kitchen, toilets and amenities, workshop and store Room. External works includes a paved training yard and vehicle hardstand areas, landscaping and civil drainage works. A two-bay shed was also constructed to accommodate brigade and group equipment.
Captain Andrew Smith said the station was welcomed by the brigade’s 40 members, which include 25 men and 15 women.
“Now we have plenty of room to change into our turnout gear, we’ve got decent heating in our meeting room and a BA (breathing apparatus) room so we don’t have to wash the BA in the kitchen sink,” he said.
Following an Indigenous Acknowledgement and Smoking Ceremony by Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owner Andrew Travis, CFA Board Member Michelle McLean declared the station officially open.
More than 150 community members and representatives from Loddon Shire, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, Parks Victoria, DELWP, Forest Fire Management Victoria, and the local Lions Club attended the opening, including the wife, children and grandchildren of brigade member Alan McKean who was killed in a bushfire in 1965 aged 30 years old.
“It’s a reminder of what we do,” Mr Smith said about the tribute.
A Community Open Day was held after the official proceedings, with displays, tours of the new station and a barbecue.
“It was a great day and the weather was on our side – the rain started just as we finished,” said Mr Smith.
These works have been funded under the Fire Services Statement, the State Government’s $60m investment in the Victorian Fire Services.