Kergunyah Fire Brigade has thanked the community for its generous donations towards securing a new ultralight tanker through a successful VESEP grant.
CFA’s District 24 handed over the Toyota Land Cruiser to bolster the brigade’s two-vehicle fleet.
The vehicle is valued at $135,000, and is fitted with communications equipment and a 550-litre water holding capacity.
Kergunyah Fire Brigade Captain David Wallace said the brigade has been actively fundraising for the vehicle for the past three years.
“Our brigade is absolutely rapt to have been able to raise enough money to purchase the ultralight,” Captain Wallace said.
“We’ve held numerous barbeques, shows at the local hall, raffles and initiatives at the local pubs to be able put together the money for this important addition to our brigade.
“It has been a whole community effort, from the dedicated brigade members who have been there for all the fundraising events, to the generous members of the community who have chipped in when they can; it’s been a wonderful effort.”
He said the ultralight vehicle will assist the brigade in getting to incidents located among tough terrain much quicker.
“We respond to a lot of fires caused by lightning strikes in our area and these incidents can often be located in tough environments,” Captain Wallace said.
“This is a quick response vehicle that tackles steep and mountainous terrain well.
“Having the ability to quickly get to some of these small fires and start extinguishment sooner can make all the difference between controlling it and letting it become a larger incident.”
The brigade was able to raise a total of $20,000 to apply for the VESEP grant for the ultralight, which will now be used alongside Kergunyah’s heavy tanker.
“We have had such a strong community backing,” Captain Wallace said.
“Our brigade thanks the entire community for their efforts to help us fundraise and donate.
“This is a fantastic asset for the community; the more resources in our area, the better equipped we are to control fires into the future.”