New snow fleet boosts alpine fire response

New over-snow vehicles have boosted brigade morale and response capability at CFA’s three alpine fire brigades.


One of the new snow fleet side-by-side vehicles now being used by CFA:s three alpine brigades - Mt Hotham-Dinner Plain, Falls Creek and Mt Buller.

Side-by-side vehicles fitted with snow tracks have been strategically placed around the three ski resorts at Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt Buller to improve transport options for CFA volunteer firefighters during winter. Capable of carrying five people, it will be used with regular tyres outside of the snow season.

Operations Manager Paul King, the Regional Commander of the Hume region which takes in the alpine region where CFA’s three alpine brigades are based, said the new vehicles had been welcomed by volunteer firefighters.

“Volunteer firefighters at Falls Creek, Mt Buller and Mt Hotham-Dinner Plain often work in jobs such as ski instructors, lift operators and in hospitality during the snow season. It’s a big ask to expect them to also get up in the middle of the night, often during inclement weather, to attend a call-out and CFA is very proud and grateful for their service,” he said.

“Previously, members often had to make their way to the station on foot, sometimes in the middle of a snow storm. These new vehicles make it a little bit easier for them to get to the station to do their job and keep the communities safe - it’s the least we can do for them.”

Mr King recently led a delegation from CFA headquarters which visited the brigades to inform a new strategy for the alpine region.

“CFA’s presence in the alpine region is vital due to the complex conditions, which include high-density accommodation and extreme weather, which makes it more difficult both to turn out to and fight fires and to evacuate large groups of people,” he said.

“By meeting with members and seeing first-hand the conditions that they operate in, we can make sure that we are doing everything we can to support them now and into the future.”

Author: Liselotte Geary