Firefighters' new digs
BANORA Point's newly refurbished fire station at Corporation Dr, Tweed Heads South, was officially opened yesterday giving local firefighters an up-to-date facility capable of servicing the area for many years to come.
Most of the station's 15 retained firefighters were on hand to witness the ceremony which doubled as an award presentation for firefighter Tony Gillespie who received a Special Service Citation for his work during last year's Queensland floods.
Mr Gillespie went to Brisbane's Rocklea Markets and stayed for a week to help with the clean-up of produce, mud and the general destruction caused by the devastating floods.
"I'm stoked to get the citation and never expected it," Mr Gillespie said.
Tweed MP and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services Geoff Provest, Tweed mayor Barry Longland and Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins were present to open the station and address the around 50 people gathered to celebrate the opening.
Cr Longland acknowledged the work done by the firies and thanked them on behalf of the council and residents for their work.
"Residents rely on the security provided by the firefighters and can look forward to better response times as well as wider coverage," Cr Longland said.
Mr Provest said the wider community owed the firefighters a debt of gratitude for the service they provided and the lives they saved.
Mr Provest also thanked the families and friends of the firefighters for supporting them and allowing them to risk their own health and wellbeing to help others.
"The high level of dedication and professionalism can't ever be repaid," Mr Provest said.
Commissioner Mullins officially opened the station and said the $637,000 refurbishment meant the station now offered more space and better equipment for firefighters.
The new facility includes a new training room, air conditioning, a room to dry clothing and equipment and more space.
Since the official opening of the Banora Point Fire Station in 2009, staff had operated from temporary facilities, he said.
Commissioner Mullins said the completion of the new permanent station gave the community greater ownership of the facility.