Published: 6th July 2006

Minister for Emergency Services Tony Kelly today said a new fire engine had been delivered to the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Lightning Ridge Fire Station.

Mr Kelly said the NSW Government had funded the $310,000 engine which is designed to respond to emergencies in regional NSW.

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

"Lightning Ridge Fire Station responds to a wide range of emergencies, including grass, bush and car fires, motor vehicle accidents, incidents involving hazardous chemicals as well as storms and floods," he said.

"The fire station protects the residential population, local school, town centre, local businesses, tourist sites and a number of historical buildings.

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.

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

Lightning Ridge Fire Station's custom-made fire engine is a dual-cabin vehicle, allowing crews to communicate and discuss strategies 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.

Commissioner Greg Mullins of the NSWFB welcomed the new fire engine to the NSWFB fleet.

"The local firefighters have received comprehensive training on their new vehicle, including detailed demonstrations on its operation, driving assessments and individual familiarisation checks, before using it to respond to emergency calls," Mr Mullins said.