Lifesaving fire crew protection will be delivered to WA firefighters
- More than $8.7 million extra committed to protect firefighters in high-risk situations
- Additional funding will fit 261 fire appliances throughout the State not included in the original rollout, many of which are in northern WA
The McGowan Government has committed an additional $8.732 million to the rollout of the crew-cab protection program, extending the program’s reach beyond the initial four-year funding commitment.
The extra funding adds to the $31 million spent over the past five years, confirming the Government’s commitment to career firefighters and emergency services volunteers throughout the metropolitan region and regional areas.
More than 660 vehicles belonging to fire brigades in the State’s highest bushfire risk areas have been fitted with equipment to protect crews in the event they are trapped by fire.
The protective measures include external water deluge systems, in-cab air breathing systems and safeguards for vital equipment such as vehicle wiring, water and fuel lines.
Thousands of burnover blankets and more than 980 radiant heat shields have been installed in fire appliances and support vehicles across the State.
Those vehicles have also been equipped with Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) systems providing real-time tracking and a distress alarm.
A further 400 portable AVL units have been made available to regions to increase coordination and situational awareness of local government, contractor and farmer vehicles.
The crew-cab protection program started following the tragic death of a firefighter at Black Cat Creek in a burnover.
Comments attributed to Acting Emergency Services Minister Bill Johnston:
“I am proud that this government has overseen the completion of the initial rollout of the crew -cab protection program and that we have expanded this program to deliver for our emergency services.
“These measures help to protect our firefighters when they’re out on the fireground helping to protect their local communities.
“The safety of our firefighters is of paramount concern, and while I hope no firefighter ever needs to use any of this equipment, it’s in place for their protection.
“The risks firefighters face out in the field are real and potentially deadly, and by mitigating some of those dangers, we have created a safer working environment for them leading into the next bushfire season.”