Volunteer emergency groups are an important aspect of our emergency services system, receiving thousands of call outs per year.
The Coalition Government recognizes the importance of supporting these groups, as such more than 260 emergency services groups across Victoria will receive funding for vital equipment under a record investment of $11.95 million in the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).
This opportunity will provide these groups with a range of operational equipment, vehicles and amenities upgrades. Under the program the Coalition Government contributes $2 for every $1 of funding contributed by local volunteer groups.
The Coalition Government supports the state’s 90,000 emergency services volunteers, such as those at Waverley SES, who are fundamental to Victoria’s ability to prepare the community and respond to emergencies. These local volunteers play a crucial role in protecting lives and property and improve response to fires, floods, heat waves, storms and people in trouble in or on the water.
Grants will be distributed across emergency agencies including:
- 166 grants (a record) for CFA brigades for operational equipment and appliances such as quick-fill trucks, tankers and trailers. It will also fund amenities upgrades and equipment for local brigades;
- CFA will allocate $1.4 million to a state-wide initiative that will improve member safety and provide new or replacement equipment such as pumps, generators and fire blankets;
- 37 grants for the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) for vehicle and truck replacement, including road rescue equipment, and funding for a state-wide initiative to replace 25 old 4WD vehicles;
- 33 grants for Life Saving Victoria (LSV) clubs to support mobile patrols, including Inflatable Rescue Boats and All-Terrain Vehicles, to allow for patrols beyond the flagged area;
- Six grants for the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (AVCGA) for equipment to assist in ‘all weather’ training for volunteers and funding for a state-wide initiative to provide hand-held infrared cameras and safety gear to flotillas; and
- Grants for other organisations such as Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad, Volunteer Marine Rescue, St John Ambulance and Ambulance Victoria Community.
In addition to this contribution to volunteer emergency services, the Coalition Government is also investing almost $57 million to emergency services in the state budget.