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NSW Government provides Walcha new $310,000 fire engine

Published: 24th April 2006

The Minister for Emergency Services, Tony Kelly, today announced the arrival of a new $310,000 fire engine at the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Walcha Fire Station.

Mr Kelly said the new engine was designed to respond to emergencies in Walcha and in other communities between Tamworth and Armidale in the state's New England District.

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

"Walcha Fire Station responds to a wide range of emergencies, including grass, bush and car fires, motor vehicle accidents, incidents involving hazardous chemicals, storms and floods.

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

"It is vital that the crew has the best equipment to deal with emergencies which may threaten the local population.

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," he said.

"A further 145 engines began delivery in 2003 and will continue to roll out until 2007.

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

Walcha Fire Station's custom-made fire engine incorporates the latest in firefighting equipment and technology.

The dual-cabin vehicle enables 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.

The Minister said Walcha Fire Brigade members have received comprehensive training on their new vehicle, including detailed demonstrations on its operation, driving assessments and individual familiarisation checks.

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

"By continually upgrading our fleet and ensuring we have the latest technology on offer, we are making sure local communities have the best possible protection," Commissioner Mullins said.

"Our fire crews are able to provide an excellent service to rural communities – it is what the people of Walcha deserve," he said.

"This engine will respond to incidents across a significant area, including the communities of Gloucester and Wauchope."

Media contacts:
Michelle Stone (for Minister Kelly) on 0400 280467 or office: 9228 3999
Stephen Norris (NSWFB) 9265 2613 or 0417 671 372