Fire centre makes us safer
WE CAN feel safer but not complacent in the lead-up to this fire season with the opening tomorrow of a multi-million dollar NSW Rural Fire Service emergency management facility at Casino.
The centre cost $3.7 million and is the largest emergency management facility ever built on the Northern Rivers.
It's a hub for firefighting in the region, with all necessary resources, equipment and facilities under one roof.
It brings together the latest technology and has separate operations, logistics and communications rooms, 18 vehicle bays, workshop facilities, training rooms and an industrial kitchen. It can be self sufficient in the event of an emergency with its own back-up power generator and on-site water storage.
But most importantly, the centre consolidates three Northern Rivers fire emergency facilities in one spot.
It will allow for better co-ordination of rural fire fighting resources and for better interaction with other emergency services based at the facility in an emergency, said NSW Rural Fire Service Northern Rivers zone manager Superintendent Michael Brett.
The new facility is next to Casino Airport, allowing for the rapid deployment of fire-fighting and surveillance aircraft.
"We have the resources, we have the airport right on the doorstep, we have the infrastructure and we have the people to go out and make it happen," Supt Brett said.
"In the past it used to take a wind-up time to get people in and we worked remotely in different locations.
"It made it hard to co-ordinate, whereas our helicopter can be here in about 20 minutes and the crew will be able to fly straight out and map the fire and put some plans in place.
"Having the infrastructure here enables it to happen that much more rapidly."
RFS OPEN DAY
The NSW Rural Fire Service will hold an open day at their new Casino emergency management facility on Sunday following the facilities official opening on Saturday.
When: Sunday, 10am to 2pm.
Where: Fire Control Centre Complex, 40 Neville Bienke Dr, Casino.
Official opening: Saturday, at 1pm.