Glenlyon Rural Fire Brigade has welcomed a new state-of-the-art tanker to the CFA station just ahead of the upcoming fire season.
The new light tanker has replaced a 20-year-old tanker that had reached the end of its service life.
Glenlyon Fire Brigade volunteer Trevor Chester said the crew had been eagerly awaiting the new tanker which can carry more water, equipment and crew members than the one it replaced.
“The old one was only a three crew truck whereas this is a five. It means we get more crew out so we have more personnel to address the fire,” he said.
Mr Chester said the new tanker was also safer for the crew on board.
“In a lot of the older trucks they’ll have three in the front and two or three in the cab but they are not as well protected. The new truck carries five in the cab. This way we are all protected within the cab so it is a lot safer for us,” he said. “It has got spray-overs and the blankets come down inside for crew protection.”
State government provided $200,000 for the new vehicle, with the brigade contributing $30,000 thanks to fundraising efforts and donations from community groups.
Mr Chester said it was a community effort to get the new truck for the brigade. “The community has put a big effort in to do all the fundraising to contribute to it. Then the government came on board and contributed most of the money.”
Despite being a small community, members of the Glenlyon CFA has assisted in major blazes, including the 2009 Black Saturday fires at Kinglake West and the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires at Macedon and East Trentham.
The new smaller tanker will often be deployed shortly after the main truck, but will also provide a more immediate capacity to respond to local incidents, while the main truck is deployed to incidents outside the local area. The new smaller tanker is particularly useful in tight bushy areas where the main truck may not fit.
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said it was important to support emergency service volunteers.
“Firefighters play a vital role in their local communities and need to have the best equipment to fulfill their life-saving tasks,” she said.