AHEAD of this year’s approaching fire season, the Terang Country Fire Authority (CFA) station received a boost to its fleet – a state-of-the-art tanker estimated to cost about $400,000.
CFA District 6 operations officer Mark Gunning and other CFA representatives were on hand to officially hand over the new vehicle to Terang CFA members on Monday.
Mr Gunning said the major improvements in the new tanker compared to the station’s older vehicles were in relation to safety.
“You can fit more crew members in the cab,” he said.
Other features on the new tanker included lighting upgrades to ensure the tanker was more visible in heavy fire conditions and a remote-controlled fixture allowing volunteers to fight the fire from inside the vehicle.
Mr Gunning said the new truck would ensure Terang CFA volunteers would be more able to fight the next fire event.
“Terang is a critical brigade,” he said.
“They were very important during the events of St Patrick’s Day.”
Mr Gunning said the new tanker was one of the first of the new fleet to be rolled out in the region.
Corangamite Shire deputy mayor Neil Trotter said the new vehicle would ensure Terang firefighters were more protected during dangerous conditions.
“We don’t want our crews in danger or in peril,” he said.
“We are still living with that threat of fire.”
Cr Trotter said the new truck would bolster the council’s ongoing efforts to reduce fire risk in the area, including advocating for roadside vegetation reduction.
“We are mindful of what is on the roadsides,” he said.
“We’ve got the view that roads should be fitted-for-purpose.
“I hope we have an event-free fire season this year.”
Mr Gunning praised the local crews for their efforts during the St Patrick’s Day fire events.
“Local crews made decisions on what houses were saveable,” he said.
“We lost houses, but we didn’t lose anyone.”
Terang CFA captain Ash Miller thanked the CFA for the new vehicle and the local brigades for their ongoing support.
“We’re looking forward to using it,” he said.