On Sunday November 19 State Member for Yan Yean, Danielle Green, presented the keys of a new type of CFA vehicle to David Weedon, Captain of Mernda Fire Brigade.
The vehicle is a purpose-built rehab support vehicle. Until now, the brigade has been using its FCV to provide rehab services. This vehicle is too small and impacts the brigade's other activities. The new vehicle has passenger space for the rehab team and room for the equipment they need.
The new vehicle carries a range of equipment, including its own power (two generators), tables and chairs (including cooling chairs), marquees, health monitoring equipment, defibrillator, eskies and drinking water and hydrate. It's equipped with scene lighting and lighting for the truck cargo area and also has lights and sirens to allow for code 1 response.
It can also tow a trailer containing additional equipment or one of the district's refrigerated trailers when responding code 3.
The handover was organised for the day of the brigade’s open day. Members of the public enjoyed the chance to see the brigade’s equipment, while children played on the jumping castle. Lunch came from the food van festival in the park across the road.
Despite a road accident just down the road from the station an hour before the handover, Ms Green handed over the keys to the vehicle to Captain Weedon. Ms Green drew on her time as a CFA volunteer with a nearby brigade to highlight the important work that rehab brigades do in keeping our firefighters safe. Rehab brigades like Mernda provide essential health monitoring of firefighters and have equipment that allows them to check a range of vital signs to ensure they are fit to return to the fireground or should be sent for further treatment. They also have cooling chairs to assist firefighters with dealing with the heat they face on the fireground.
District 14 Operations Manager Trevor Roberts presented the brigade with a surprise of an extra portable radio to be used with the truck. He congratulated the brigade on the hard work they put in to bring about the design and construction of this vehicle.
Mernda Brigade Captain Weedon described the process that brought about the development of the vehicle. He thanked the local community for its support in helping the brigade raise the funds to buy the truck. The brigade raised $29,000 through a range of activities, including selling some very cute fire truck lunch boxes. The brigade’s contribution was matched two-for-one by the State Government through the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program. This important program gives brigades the opportunity to purchase important equipment that would otherwise be out of their reach.
Following the presentations, Captain Weedon demonstrated to Ms Green some of the equipment the vehicle carries.
The coming fire season is shaping up as a difficult one. Mernda Rehab Support will be there helping to look after our firefighters.