Published: 6th July 2006

The Minister for Emergency Services, Tony Kelly, today announced the arrival of a new fire engine at the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Coolah Fire Station.

Mr Kelly said the $310,000 fire engine would respond to emergencies in the Upper Hunter region.

"The new fire engine is a major investment in the Coolah community, and will enhance the speed and effectiveness of NSWFB fire crews' responses to emergencies," Mr Kelly said.

"Coolah Fire Station responds to a wide range of emergencies fires, motor vehicle accident and spills of hazardous materials, and it is vital that the crew has the best equipment to deal with these incidents," he said.

The station protects the residential population, local schools, churches, hospital and businesses.

Mr Kelly said the new fire engine is part of the largest roll out of new and upgraded fire engines in NSWFB history.

"Funding for 238 fire engines across the State was allocated between 1999 and 2003, including 168 for fire stations in rural and regional NSW. A further 145 engines are being progressively funded between 2003 and 2007," he said.

The total value of the fleet upgrade over this eight-year period is more than $144 million.

Coolah Fire Station's custom-made fire engine is a dual-cabin vehicle, allowing crews to communicate on the way to a fire call. The vehicle has a high-pressure pump that supplies up to 3,000 litres of water per minute for firefighting operations, and a foam system to assist in extinguishing chemical, petrol and bush fires.

NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins said firefighters had received comprehensive training on their new vehicle, including detailed demonstrations on its operation, driving assessments and individual familiarisation checks.

"I'm pleased the Upper Hunter has the latest technology on offer – it’s the latest local community to receive the best possible protection we can provide," Commissioner Mullins said.