Firefighters acknowledged for years of service as over $610,000 renovations officially opened
Published: 12th August 2009Minister for Emergency Services Steve Whan today visited Kyogle and Brunswick Heads fire stations to inspect over $610,000 worth of upgrades as NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Commissioner Greg Mullins presented firefighters with medals for years of long service and good conduct.
Mr Whan said the renovations at Kyogle and Brunswick Heads Fire Stations, completed in 2008, reflected the Government's commitment to ensuring that the benefits of the increased emergency services budget were shared across the state.
"Since 1995, we have injected more than $5.5 billion into the NSW Fire Brigades, with this financial year's budget a record $589 million," Mr Whan said.
"This funding has included more than $130 million allocated over 14 years for new and upgraded fire stations around the state - the largest building program in the Fire Brigades' history.
"The renovations provide firefighters with more modern and spacious facilities from which to service their local communities."
The upgrade to Kyogle Fire Station includes construction of new toilet facilities, change room and locker room, a new public reception area and access ramps and toilets for visitors with disabilities.
At Brunswick Heads Fire Station a first-floor extension was added providing a multi-purpose training and recreation area designed to accommodate training for several fire crews at once. Downstairs the upgrade included new toilet facilities, change rooms, a small gym and a locker room, in addition to facilities for visitors with disabilities and a new public entry.
Commissioner Mullins awarded long service and good conduct medals to four retained firefighters at Brunswick Heads Fire Station: Deputy Nathan East for 12 years service, Retained Firefighter Stan Petroff for 12 years service, Engine Keeper Peter McNulty for 10 years service and Acting Engine Keeper Ron Witsel for 10 years service.
Commissioner Mullins also presented certificates of appreciation to four employers of retained firefighters at Kyogle Fire Station for their years of continued support of the station.
"The four Brunswick Heads firefighters awarded medals today have together notched up an incredible 42 years of service and like their colleagues at Brunswick Heads and Kyogle have served their local communities with courage, commitment and dedication," Commissioner Mullins said.
"Retained Fire Stations are dependent on the support of the firefighters' employers who release them from their day-to-day jobs to respond to emergencies so I want to thank Brown and Hurley Pty Ltd, Boral Timber Mill, Des Watson Ford and Kyogle Council for their continued support of Kyogle Fire Brigade."
Minister Whan said retained firefighters played an important role in the community, not only by responding to fires and other emergencies, but in educating people about what they could do to prepare for and prevent fires.
"The firefighters at Kyogle and Brunswick Heads are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and devote many hours outside of their regular jobs and family responsibilities to protect their local communities," Minister Whan said.
"A number of them were deployed to Victoria during the recent bushfire emergency and their assistance was very much appreciated by the people of Victoria.
"Retained firefighters are vital to NSWFB operations across regional NSW and my thanks go to the four retained Brunswick Heads firefighters for their years of long service and good conduct and to the local employers for their continued support of Kyogle Fire Station."