Bus helps get firefighters mobile
THE next time our rural firefighters join strike teams to battle blazes around the country, they will be travelling in shiny new equipment.
The keys to a $65,000, 25-seat Mitsubishi bus were presented to Rural Fire Service Northern Rivers manager Supt Michael Brett by RFSA executive director Peter Olah, yesterday.
It was supplied as part of the RFSA’s fourth round of grants that have provided $1.1 million in assistance to 317 NSW rural fire brigades.
The new bus is in good company. It is parked alongside an equally new $300,000 fire tanker, funded by the State Gov-ernment.
Yet to be officially unveiled, the category 1 tanker will replace a 25-year-old vehicle.
Supt Brett said it was a timely addition to the Northern Rivers Rural Fire Service fleet.
“The start of bushfire season, September 1, is approaching. It’s important landholders take every precaution to prepare for it now,” he said.
The bus will be used to transport the 1300 fir-efighters on the Northern Rivers to essential training days – just in time for the looming bushfire season.
Supt Brett said the provision of the new bus went a long way towards reducing the levels of fatigue for volunteers participating in firefighting operations, especially when travelling to fire outbreaks.
As the fire season approaches, Supt Brett hopes that cool, wet weather recently hasn’t made landholders complacent about applying for burning-off permits and preparing for the worst.
“We are expecting rain until September, so the start of the bushfire season may be delayed, but we never really know. Now is the best time to prepare,” he said.