CFA decked out to fight boat fires
MEMBERS of the Lake Eppalock Coast Guard and CFA brigades from around the lake joined together on Sunday to celebrate the long awaited acquisition of specialist Personal Flotation Devices (PFD).
The PFDs, which can support firefighters wearing full protective firefighting equipment, will be supplied thanks to a $6600 grant under the first round of the Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program.
‘‘They will greatly enhance the safety of CFA members when responding to boat fires,’’ Eppalock Fire Brigades group officer David Cleator said.
‘‘In five years, brigades have seen 13 boat fires on Lake Eppalock.
‘‘CFA members had to borrow or commandeer boats for rapid fire attack and rescue until the Coast Guard boat could arrive.
‘‘Until now they have had to do this without life jackets.’’
Funds from the grant will be used to purchase 15 specialist PFDs, to be installed on trucks from Heathcote, Knowsley, Mia Mia, Mosquito Creek and Redesdale brigades.
‘‘The PFDs include a harness for a boat safety line, thus further enhancing the safety of fire fighters and boat users,’’ Mr Cleator said.
‘‘Brigades from Eppalock Fire Brigades Group work closely with the Lake Eppalock Coast Guard in training and mutual support.
The Coast Guard is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new and larger boat, which will boost fire fighting capability. CFA brigades and Lake Eppalock Coast Guard members are now geared up for boat fires.