CHRIST­MAS IN JULY

NEW FIRE TRUCK A BOOST FOR VOL­UN­TEERS.

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Ai­den Boy­ham

It was Christ­mas in July for the hard­work­ing vol­un­teers at Bal­divis Fire Sta­tion last Wed­nes­day, as the crew were pre­sented with a new fire truck.

Bal­divis MLA Reece Whitby was on hand to present the truck to the Bal­divis Vol­un­teer Fire Emer­gency Ser­vice on be­half of the State Gov­ern­ment, with the truck val­ued at al­most $500,000.

Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices dis­trict of­fi­cer Terry Weg­w­er­mer said the truck would im­prove the bri­gade’s ca­pa­bil­ity to com­bat and re­spond to struc­ture fires.

With a vol­un­teer bri­gade first estab­lished in 1979, the crew’s sta­tion on Tranby Drive was opened in 2001 and has grown to in­clude 52 vol­un­teers.

Bal­divis VFES cap­tain Neil Chap­lin said the sta­tion had vol­un­teers from all walks of life.

“We have ev­ery­one from lines­man at Western Power to plumbers, car­pen­ters, stu­dents, ac­coun­tants; ab­so­lutely every­thing,” he said.

Mr Whitby praised the vol­un­teers for the hard work they do and said the ar­rival of the new truck was vi­tal in a grow­ing area.

“This is a com­mu­nity of al­most 35,000 peo­ple — if it was Bun­bury or Ger­ald­ton with that pop­u­la­tion they’d have their own full-time fire bri­gade,” Mr Whitby said.

“It’s an in­di­ca­tion that even though they are vol­un­teers, they still de­serve to get the same level of equip­ment the other guys get.

“Last sum­mer we had a very mod­er­ate bush­fire sea­son — this sum­mer we are hop­ing they get an­other one like it.

“While they’ve got the truck, we are hop­ing it doesn’t get too much use.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on how to become a vol­un­teer or to fol­low the lat­est up­dates visit the fire sta­tion on Facebook.

Pic­ture: Ai­den Boy­ham

The vol­un­teers at Bal­divis Fire Sta­tion were all smiles last Wed­nes­day af­ter they re­ceived a new fire truck worth al­most $500,000.

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