FIREFIGHTERS across Geelong and the Surf Coast will be better equipped to fight fires, operate rescue vehicles, and have access to funds to upgrade brigade technology and facilities, thanks to a $5 million boost through the first round of the state government’s Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program (EVGP).
Brigades and districts that made successful individual and joint applications in Round 1 of the EVGP will receive a range of equipment, upgrades and training.
In District 7, this includes:
- Operational equipment for the Grovedale Fire Brigade and Bellarine Group
- Minor station facility improvements or extensions for the Winchelsea Group and the Portarlington Fire Brigade, and
- Ancillary equipment and IT network improvements for the Coastal Group.
Round 2 applications opened at the start of the month, giving brigades from across the state another chance to tap into invaluable resources to support the communities they serve.
In total, the two rounds will deliver $10 million in extra funding.
CFA acting chief officer Garry Cook welcomed the announcement, saying brigades and districts had been successful in securing almost 250 EVGP grants in round 1.
“While fighting bushfires is core to what we do, our volunteers do so much more. They attend urban house fires, motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters and provide essential community safety education initiatives.
“These grants will support, equip and enable our volunteers to continue to meet changes in community needs, the environment and technology across the range of services they deliver.
“Having the equipment and support they need helps brigades keep their communities safe, retain and attract members, and prepare for and respond to emergencies.”
CFA chief executive officer Paul Smith said the grants would provide vital support to volunteers – both those on the frontline and those in supporting roles.
“Funding initiatives like the Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program deliver a significant boost in helping our brigades serve their communities.
“This initiative will help us recruit and retain volunteers, as well as enhance their capability to deliver on their mission.”