Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (BFB) and State Emergency Service (SES) units will receive new Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) under an initiative funded through the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).
From 2020, AEDs will be allocated to more than 780 vehicles across the two services, ensuring volunteers in Western Australia have access to the life-saving devices during emergencies.
An AED is a portable device that automatically assesses someone who is having an apparent heart attack and, if necessary, delivers a small electric shock through the chest to the heart.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said the move would benefit the community, while further improving safety conditions for WA’s volunteer personnel.
“Volunteers are crucial to our emergency response in WA, particularly in the regions, and we rely on each and every one of them to keep our communities safe,” Commissioner Klemm said.
“The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is always striving to create a safer State and improve the conditions in which our volunteers operate, and while some already have access to AEDs, this initiative will ensure they are installed on BFB and SES vehicles from 2020 onwards.
“We’ve worked closely with the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB), and the SES Volunteers Association (SESVA) to implement this rollout, and I thank them for their collaboration on this initiative.”
Funding for the AEDs will be delivered through the ESL, the primary mechanism of funding emergency services in WA.
In addition to funding critical infrastructure essential to emergency management across the State, the ESL also provides direct grants to volunteer services to support their operations.
Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades President Dave Gossage welcomed the initiative, which he said was the result of a strong and collaborative working relationship between DFES and the relevant stakeholders.
“The Association raised the prospect of AEDs being made accessible to volunteer Bush Fire Brigades, and we’re pleased that the Commissioner and his team have been receptive to our request,” he said.
“We have worked very hard over the years to make sure DFES is aware of issues important to the hard-working and dedicated volunteers serving this State, and we look forward to continuing to do so in the future.”
SES Volunteer Association President Greg Cook said the Association was pleased additional AEDs would be made available to SES units.
“Our teams go above and beyond to perform an essential service to protect their local communities and this initiative will enable our vehicles to have an AED in them when attending emergencies,” he said.
“Having AEDs available to all units is a welcome addition to the equipment we currently have, so we’re very happy with this outcome.”
DFES will also continue to reimburse volunteers for training costs associated with the use of AEDs through the ESL.
For more information about the ESL visit:
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9395 9543