Fire and emergency services personnel and volunteers make a vital contribution to our state, with their work directly affecting the safety and wellbeing of the people they serve. New and improved infrastructure around Western Australia aims to ensure responders are well equipped to protect their local and surrounding communities.
Facilitated by the State Government through DFES, the introduction of these new facilities is aimed at adapting and changing in response to the needs of West Australians as the State’s population grows, and communities disperse. New facilities opened within the last year include the Geraldton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) station, the Shark Bay Emergency Services Precinct and the Butler Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) station. These provide increased capability in their regions, helping to ensure communities are prepared for any emergency.
The Geraldton VFRS officially opened their new $2 million premises on 22 November 2014. Embodying a strong emphasis on recruitment and training, the new station has a large dedicated training area for volunteers to further develop their skills, as well as a road crash rescue training pad. The new station also features two large engine bay rooms, a kitchen and meeting rooms.
The new Shark Bay Emergency Services Precinct promotes and fosters the importance of community and camaraderie. The new facility is home not only to the local State Emergency Service (SES) but also to St Johns Ambulance volunteers and the Shark Bay Volunteer Marine Rescue Service, who all provide a valuable service to the region. Officially opened on 6 March 2015, the precinct was jointly funded via a Lotterywest grant, DFES and contributions from the Shire of Shark Bay.
The $7.5 million Butler Fire Station is strategically located so firefighters can respond to incidents in Butler and surrounding areas, and it was designed to accommodate additional strike teams and resources to respond to major incidents in the region. Officially opened on 20 May 2015, it features two large double appliance bays, training and office areas, a gymnasium, vehicle training pad, a breathing apparatus servicing area as well as increased accommodation for future expansion. It also includes a post incident wash down facility which ensures firefighters are free of potential contaminants when they return from incidents.
Opened on 10 May, the Roebourne Districts SES building provides a new local headquarters for the SES Unit and includes dedicated administration, training and operations facilities for members. The building also has capacity to operate as an Incident Control Centre, providing a vital base for the command, control and coordination of emergency response within the region for incidents such as storms, cyclones, floods, bushfires, land and air searches. The dedicated SES facility is located alongside the Wickham St John’s Ambulance sub-station and was funded via DFES, Rio Tinto and the City of Karratha.