Dereel Fire Brigade's newest tanker was officially handed over by Michaela Settle MP over the weekend as part of a broader Dereel community event.
This 2020 2.4C tanker replaces the brigade's previous 2001 3.4D tanker and is valued at $340,000. The brigade contributed $50,000 towards the cost.
Dereel Fire Brigade Captain Rob Hill said when the brigade was in the planning stage for the 2018-19 VESEP grant, they knew they wanted to replace their 2001 tanker with a similar sized truck to maintain their existing operational capability.
“The brigade made this decision to complement the risk profile of the area and operational capability of surrounding brigades, who were getting smaller trucks like ultralights,” Rob said.
“We knew it would cost a lot more to get another big truck, but the benefits to the brigade and the wider group would be well worth it.”
This decision required a big commitment from the brigade to contribute more money, along with a carefully coordinated approach to fundraising.
“We knew the traditional sausage sizzles weren’t going to cut it, so we had to change our fundraising tactics and started looking at bigger things like raffles,” Rob said.
“We held three raffles between 2014 and 2018. Each one had major prizes including big ticket items like trailers, lawnmowers and gift cards, most of which was generously donated.
“Being such a small community, we couldn’t rely solely on local generosity, so many of the tickets were sold in the areas surrounding Dereel, like Ballarat and Geelong.
“On behalf of Dereel Fire Brigade and community, I’d like to praise brigades from District 7 and District 15 for their support. Allowing us to sell tickets in their area was phenomenal, and we couldn’t have achieved this otherwise.
“This is as much their success as ours, it really shows the camaraderie of CFA and how well we support each other.”