Energex delivers boost to rural fire brigades

Rural Fire brigades in Caboolture, Queensland, are testing new equipment including GPS, weather meter kits, chainsaws and generators purchased through a $75,000 Energex sponsorship.

Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey, along with Energex chief executive officer Terry Effeney, presented the equipment at an official handover at the Mount Mee Rural Fire Brigade Station.

“Energex’s generous sponsorship builds on the Newman Government’s commitment to providing our frontline staff and volunteers with the best resourcing and equipment possible,” Mr Dempsey said.

“In the Caboolture area alone, we have more than 1360 volunteers who spend countless hours away from families and friends working to protect their communities and this is a great, practical way to support our local volunteers.”

Energex has been a long-standing supporter of the Rural Fire Service.

“We see the difference their sponsorship makes on the frontline each day and on behalf of the Queensland Government, I thank them,” Mr Dempsey said.

Rural operations area director for Caboolture Inspector Neil Kelso said the brigades were asked to nominate what equipment they would like to receive.

“In this area, our 31 brigades have already turned out to more than 171 incidents this financial year, so this new equipment will be well utilised,” Inspector Kelso said.

“For example portable pumps can quickly refill appliances which is essential when fighting wildfires.”

Rural firefighters will use the specialist GPS equipment to gather mapping data, which can be used to plot fire lines, identify structures and possible fire containment lines.

“The Kestrel Weather Meter Kits will arm our brigades with essential weather readings such as current temperature, wind speed and humidity, all of which can enable firefighters to predict the rate of fire spread and what areas the fire will impact,” Inspector Kelso said.

“This equipment, provided through Energex’s ongoing sponsorship, will help to ensure rural crews are able to respond quickly and with the best data available.”

Mr Effeney said the sponsorship was part of the company’s ongoing support for the RFS and local communities.

“Energex has proudly sponsored the RFS for the past three years, providing vital equipment that is used by rural firefighters throughout south-east Queensland,” he said.

“Energex crews and rural firefighters work side by side with other response organisations during emergencies, including the response to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald in recent times.

“While we hope this region is spared from natural disasters in the near future, this ongoing sponsorship will help ensure that rural firefighters have the equipment they need to respond when we inevitably meet in the field again.”