Energex funding a boon for rural fire volunteers

Rural Fire Service volunteers operating in Ipswich, Somerset and Lockyer Valley will put new emergency-response gear into action from today thanks to financial backing from Energex.

Fifteen rural brigades gathered at Coominya Rural Fire Brigade today to accept more than $23,000 in new equipment, including generators, reversing cameras, navigational devices and portable fridges.

The tools were purchased under Energex’s long-running Rural Fire Service Equipment Program, which is contributing $75,000 to give rural firefighters even greater capacity to respond to emergencies.

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden MP said RFS volunteers played an important role within their communities and programs like Energex’s helped them continue their work.

“Queensland’s 36,000 RFS volunteers dedicate their time to educate residents about fire safety, undertake rescue operations and fight fires to protect lives and property,” Mr Madden said.

“I know how important the RFS is to electorates such as mine, so it is great to see brigades receive the equipment they need to respond effectively when called upon.”

RFS acting regional director for the south-east region Kaye Healing said the handover highlighted Energex’s ongoing support for the RFS.

“Our RFS volunteers look after more than 90 per cent of Queensland and are often first on scene when the call goes out to attend a fire or rescue operation,” Ms Healing said.

“In the past year alone, they dealt with more than 6000 incidents and ran close to 400 community education events.

“The Rural Fire Service Equipment Program has been a key part of making that happen, and I am certain the tools distributed today will be put to good use.”

Energex’s Steve Leadbeater said during the past seven years more than $600,000 worth of vital life and property saving equipment had been provided to around 125 South-East Queensland rural brigades.

“Energex crews and RFS volunteers have stood shoulder to shoulder in many natural disaster situations, and this part of South-East Queensland has certainly copped its share,” he said.

“We share a common interest in providing a high quality service to the community while ensuring the public remains safe when events turn dangerous.”