Members of Ensay Fire Brigade were excited to be presented with a new ultralight tanker on Saturday 3 December, following countless hours of hard work by the brigade, the community and charitable partners.
The Tambo Crossing community was heavily impacted by the Black Summer fires of 2019-20.
During Christmas 2019, the bushfire burnt through the community and surrounding hills, impacting farms, livelihoods and homes for many days.
CFA Deputy Chief Officer Trevor Owen said CFA was able to quickly mobilise several ultralight tankers from neighbouring CFA districts to support our East Gippsland towns.
“These ultralight tankers proved critical in supporting the small farming communities in East Gippsland because of their size and agility,” he said.
Ensay brigade members, who provide service to the Tambo Crossing community, decided that adding an ultralight tanker would help them better protect the community and promptly started a fundraising push to purchase their own vehicle.
Through the generosity of countless individuals and community groups, the brigade was able to fully fund the purchase of the new $147,500 firefighting vehicle.
The tanker is built on a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series Utility and carries 550 litres of water, firefighting foam, storage for firefighting equipment and can carry two people.
The brigade was successful in obtaining several grants to assist in the purchase.
The East Gippsland Community Foundation provided a generous $75,000 to the brigade for the vehicle.
Board Member of the East Gippsland Community Foundation Trevor Hancock said, “we are very pleased to support this important project for CFA and the long-term safety of the Tambo Crossing community”.
The East Gippsland Community Foundation is a philanthropic community foundation which was established to fund the East Gippsland community in its long-term recovery from the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires.
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) also gave the brigade $21,000 towards the vehicle purchase.
The brigade also received a very generous donation from the Uyghur Association of Victoria, whch contacted the brigade during the bushfires.
DCO Owen said the project is a fantastic example of what a community can do when they work together.
“Many CFA and community members have worked tirelessly in the background to achieve this important project for the Tambo Crossing community,” he said.
The new vehicle was personally delivered to the brigade by DCO Trevor Owen where the community held a celebration barbecue at the new Tambo Crossing Community Facility.
The keys for the vehicle were presented by DCO Owen to brigade Captain Geoff Adams.