CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan with Nar Nar Goon volunteer Geoff Bramley
Four CFA brigades are the first in Australia to receive cutting-edge, battery-operated road rescue equipment.
Nar Nar Goon, Langwarrin, Dromana and Werribee brigades will each receive the three new tools which include a cutter, spreader and hydraulic ram.
The battery-operated tools don’t require an external power source and are waterproof allowing greater access to road crash victims, including in drains and waterways.
The twelve new tools were jointly funded by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and CFA, at a total investment of $214,000.
While all CFA brigades respond to motor vehicle accidents, CFA has 21 Road Crash Rescue Principal Providers across the state which have specialised equipment to perform rescues.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said in 2020 CFA responded to 4,290 motor vehicle accidents across the state, more than 170 of those callouts required a CFA rescue crew and around 80 people had to be cut out of vehicles.
“Our firefighters attend thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year so it’s important we have the most up-to-date equipment,” CO Heffernan said.
“These new cutting-edge, battery-operated tools will boost our capability and give our firefighters the best chance at saving community members trapped in vehicles.”
Nar Nar Goon Fire Brigade knows all too well the importance of having the most up-to-date rescue equipment after they were faced with one of their greatest fears.
The former Nar Nar Goon Captain, Geoff Bramley was driving home when a car travelling along a 100 km/h road hit him from behind.
“I have been responding to car accidents with CFA for over 40 years, but I never thought my brigade would have to cut me out of a car,” Geoff said.
“I was about to turn into my house when the car collected me from behind. The driver who hit me wasn’t concentrating on the road and I could have died.
“My brigade did an amazing job cutting me out of the car. I consider myself lucky the brigade had the specialist rescue tools and the skills they required to save my life.”
Geoff’s story and the new road rescue equipment comes as CFA recognises National Road Safety Week and urges Victorians to take care on our roads.
National Road Safety Week honours those lost on our roads and raises awareness of road safety.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the campaign asks Australians to “pledge to drive so others survive” by behaving safely and responsibly on our roads.
“Road trauma incidents not only impact our communities, they also deeply impact our firefighters and other emergency services personnel,” CO Heffernan said.
“Many road crashes can be avoided. Every Victorian needs to play their part in ensuring they are vigilant and safe on our roads.
“Let’s help reduce Victoria’s road toll by looking out for each other on the roads – your life and your loved ones’ lives depend on it.”
Road users are encouraged to take the pledge online at roadsafetyweek.com.au