Casterton Fire Brigade recently received a new set of battery-operated road crash rescue tools, increasing the brigade's specialist response capability.
The tools are battery-operated, do not need an external power source and are waterproof, allowing greater access to road crash victims, including in drains and waterways.
The brigade received a cutter, spreader tool and hydraulic ram, which were jointly funded by Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and CFA, at a total investment of $80,000.
Casterton Fire Brigade Captain Lee Condon said the new tools gives the brigade the ability to access vehicles off-road.
“Having this second set of battery-operated tools means we don’t have to drag hydraulic cables down embankments, making it safer for crews to rescue victims trapped inside vehicles,” he said.
“Our brigade has 16 accredited Road Crash Rescue operators of different ages and experience.
“We train once a month and thanks to the generosity of a local scrap yard, we can practise on cars they give us.
Lee said as a specialist response brigade, Casterton covers a 100km radius from their station, combined with the local VICSES unit.
“We’re the only heavy rescue this side of Ballarat, so it’s important for us to be well trained and well equipped in this specialised response,” he said.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Specialist Response Rick Owen presented the new tools to the brigade on behalf of CFA and TAC.
“Our volunteers are often saving people from horrific situations so it’s important we provide them the best possible equipment make their job easier and help save lives,” Rick said.