Ready for emergency
RESCUE SERVICES NOW IN ONE FACILITY
THE Department of Fire and Emergency Services expects to be able to respond to emergencies quicker after opening a new base in Kewdale.
The State Wide Operational Response Division (SWORD) brings together canine, mounted, volunteer fire fighters, State Emergency Service, logistics and communications units.
SWORD district officer Mark Feast said there were many advantages to bringing the units together.
“We had six brigades and units scattered around the metro area but combining everyone into the facility reduces costs,” he said.
“It becomes easier to respond to emergencies, whether there is a fire or a land search to conduct.
“Kewdale is a great location for the facility; we are near Leach Highway and Roe Highway, Orrong Road, the airport and rail as well. It’s a great logistical base that allows us to mobilise quickly.”
The facility was officially opened on November 1, after each of the units moved in gradually following a handover on September 15. Vehicles and equipment from each of the units are stored at the facility, which also includes training rooms and administration facilities.
Mr Feast said DFES was still rationalising the equipment that each unit owned.
“There are about 175 volunteers who will use the facility but once we are fully consolidated here, we are hoping to bring that up to 300 volunteers by the end of 2018,” he said.
“A facility like this is pretty standard over east but it’s something new for WA.”