Twenty mixed-rank career firefighters moved into the Lloyd St facility in December 2018, which was transformed into a temporary fire station in 35 days, while planning is underway for the construction of a permanent fire station marked for 2021.
Officer-In-Charge Shane Mynard said the brigade had quickly made inroads into enhancing emergency response in the Valley, working alongside volunteer brigades including Moe, Newborough, Trafalgar, Westbury, Moe South and Willow Grove.
“Latrobe West Fire Brigade is made up of career firefighters deployed from other CFA integrated stations and new recruits who graduated in December 2018,” Mr Mynard said.
“We’ve attended a range of incidents including Emergency Medical Response (EMR), car accidents, and structure fires over the last eight months, which has resulted in significant improvements in service delivery standards in the area.
“There’s also a flow-on benefit to the local economy as we rely on local businesses, including builders, plumbers, dry-cleaning services and homeware stores, to set up and operate the fire station.
“Some firefighters have also moved their families into the area, which increases property rentals and shopping locally.”
This new brigade has increased our EMR capability in Latrobe Valley. Mr Mynard reminded residents that this brigade is trained to assist Ambulance Victoria in responding to incidents where patients are unconscious and/or not breathing.
“Firefighters take on many and varied roles. If a firefighter arrives at your door for a life-threatening medical emergency do not turn them away. By working together with paramedics, we have a better chance of saving someone’s life,” he said.
Latrobe West Fire Brigade is planning a formal event to celebrate their first anniversary in the coming months.
The temporary and permanent stations and deployment of career firefighters to the Latrobe Valley are part of the 350 Firefighter Program (P350) which is a Victorian Government commitment to improve service delivery.