Upgraded Elmhurst fire station opened

ELMHURST - More than fifty people attended the official unveiling of the redeveloped Elmhurst fire station.

The station upgrade which cost $144,000 was funded as part of the Capital Works Building program - Rural Fire Stations sub program for the financial year 2012-2013.

The upgraded station has a new larger roller door for the existing motor room, two car parking spaces, a multi-purpose room with a kitchenette and toilet facility.

Work commenced on April 10 and was completed in August.

The upgraded station will provide an improved service to the community and a facility to meet the future needs of the brigade.

The brigade currently has 56 members with 50 operational members and six non-operational members.

The brigade has a bushfire low structure risk profile and on average responds to approximately 12 incidents annually (average over five years). In the 2012/13 financial year the brigade responded to 16 incidents.

Local sub-contractors Program Facility Management were engaged for the project and this resulted in a high percentage of the funding being spent locally.

Brigade members Gerry Van Oosten and Jonathan Keith assisted with the roof lift project under the guidance of the Building and Property Department.

The Elmhurst Fire Brigade was formed and first registered with CFA in August 1941.

Many of its members joined the brigade at a young age and now hold positions of leadership.

Their team spirit has seen them compete in the CFA championships as well as stand side-by-side in the ever present, more serious battle: the line of fire.

The brigade has attended several significant incidents including the Black Saturday Fires in 2009.

Just ten minutes from the Pyrenees Ranges the township faces significant fire risks of its own due to rough terrain that is difficult to access.

The acquirement of an ultra-light has significantly increased the brigade's ability to respond to incidents as they can now reach further remote locations.

Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay was on hand as several service awards were also presented.

Garry Iles received recognition for his half a century of contributions, Margaret Rivett accepted a 45 years service award on behalf of her late father Murray Preston and Ken Preston's 50 year service award.

Graeme Preston, Julian Kaye and Michael Roberts all received 35 year service awards while Christian Peacock and Bart Rutley were honoured for notching up a decade of service and Helen Wright five years.

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