Fire and emergency services around the State have been boosted with the opening of new and upgraded facilities throughout the last year.
State-of-the-art Fire and Rescue Service stations in Albany and Bunbury, completed at an estimated cost of $7 million and $7.2 million, are both providing firefighters with an excellent base to serve their communities.
Funded by DFES through the Emergency Services Levy (ESL), the purpose built stations include large appliance bays, increased training facilities, and improved accommodations with the ability to meet extra demand for staff and equipment in the future.
The facilities are contributing towards a more efficient and coordinated response to emergencies including fires, road crash rescues and chemical spills, ensuring the growing regional communities are better protected than ever.
A new $1.4 million State Emergency Service (SES) base was also opened in Bunbury, providing a modern and well-equipped headquarters to better support the SES volunteers who give their valuable time to help the community.
The Bunbury SES Unit has played an essential role for more than 54 years, responding to storms, undertaking searches and providing vital support during bushfires and other emergencies. The new base is designed to accommodate current and future needs and will serve as a nerve centre for emergency response in the City of Bunbury and the South West.
New collocated facilities were also completed for the Gosnells SES and Bush Fire Brigade (BFB), as well as Harvey SES and Harvey Hills BFB.
Other new and upgraded bases finished this year include those for the Darling Range, Ocean Farms, Vasse, Meckering, Scaddan, Coomberdale, East Nannup, Inkpen, Lake Clifton and Bodallin/Noongar BFBs, and Pemberton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service.
The Cantonment Hill Signal Station in Fremantle was restored for use as a radio communications facility by Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group (FVSRG).
Other new and improved facilities for Volunteer Marine Rescue Services have included those in Broome, Geraldton, Margaret River, Kalbarri, Rockingham and Busselton.
Funding for these improvements is largely facilitated by DFES through the ESL, with the BFB and SES facilities funded from the ESL via the Local Government Grants Scheme.
Additional funding contributions are given by a range of other sources, from Commonwealth Government programs through to local business donations. The new volunteer facilities are made possible with the support of local governments and the dedicated efforts of volunteers.