SES rapt with new truck
Benalla SES will unveil a brand new rescue truck this evening thanks to community efforts to raise funds and a generous Victorian Government grant.
The Benalla branch was able to raise $136 500 to add to the $100 000 grant, which was funded by the Victorian Government’s Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).
Benalla SES deputy controller Sarah Ford said the branch desperately needed a new truck to replace their existing vehicle, which was more than 20 years old.
‘‘With the old truck we sometimes needed to make two or three trips (to an emergency location) to get all the equipment there,’’ Ms Ford said.
‘‘Now we will be able to get everything there in the one trip.
‘‘The new truck is bigger, faster and is full of mod-cons. It has a lot of safety features, which makes it safer for our volunteers.
‘‘It has hydraulic supports and hydraulic lockers that pull out, so from an OH&S perspective it is much safer.’’
The Victorian Government has received hundreds of grant applications for equipment, communications and facility upgrades from volunteer organisations across the state.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes congratulated Benalla SES on its successful grant application.
‘‘The VESEP grants program has been established to ensure emergency management volunteers can continue to deliver their crucial work, protecting Victorian properties and lives,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘This grant will assist the dedicated volunteers of Benalla SES in the crucial work they do in keeping the community safe.’’
Ms Ford said the grant and community fundraising had been invaluable, but the high cost meant the SES had to use their savings to fund the balance.
‘‘We used a lot of savings that came from previous fundraising efforts,’’ she said.
‘‘We then got a lot of additional funding from local businesses and pubs collecting on our behalf and the Masonic Lodge raised a considerable amount of money.
‘‘Different community organisations ran various fundraising initiatives for us.
‘‘We are absolutely ecstatic that the community has gotten behind us and we can’t thank them enough for their support.’’
The new Storm Truck is a Hino 300 Series, 921 Crew Cab, which will provide the unit with a safe and reliable rescue truck that has the capacity to be utilised in storm and flood-related incidents.
The place to be: The Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre will host the North East Digital Innovation Festival.
Successful grant application: SES Benalla volunteers with their CFA counterparts.