Ready to respond

February 20, 2019 BY

Fully equipped: Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison and emergency services minister, Lisa Neville discover some of the Lucas CFA’s new equipment with firefighter, Lachlan Butterfield. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

THE new Lucas CFA station officially opened last Thursday, having been operational and handling callouts since November last year.

Emergency services minister, Lisa Neville and member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison unveiled the opening plaque at the building, which is located on Ballarat-Carngham Road and services Ballarat’s west, as far out as Haddon.

CFA chief officer, Steve Warrington congratulated the Lucas team, made up of 32 career firefighters and support staff.

He championed the station’s ‘integrated’ approach that works to support and nurture the skills of volunteer CFA brigades.

“It’s exciting cultural change. It’s a new way of thinking,” he said.

“It’s not about brinks and mortar here, it’s about the services.”

It was the first fire station Ms Neville had opened as emergency services minister, having launched the Lucas police station, just behind the CFA building, when it began operating two years ago. She said the facility was “well deserved.”

“I can see the incredible benefits of having this as an emergency services hub,” Ms Neville said.

“We needed to have a career station based here 24 hours a day to service the growing community, making sure we get the response times that they need.”

The station’s fleet of appliances include a tanker for rural grass fires, a pumper for urban firefighting and a hazardous materials response unit.

Road rescue gear is installed on every truck.

Facilities available at the centre include a truck maintenance space, a drying room to keep equipment serviceable during colder months, a large yard for drills and truck set up, and a locker area with separate change rooms for both male and female staff.

Upstairs, a big meeting room is used for training and has a kitchenette. It sits above a large administration area, and a living space where there is tiered lounge seating and two full sized kitchens.

The station is wired all the way through to alarm all staff in any section of the property of emergencies, especially if they are asleep.

A dormitory area has 10 bedrooms and five en suite bathrooms.

Operations officer, Kade Dowie said everyone has been utilising the gym facilities and this space is building “great team relationships” as well as strength.

Mr Dowie said he was looking forward to the blank white walls becoming covered with station history as the years go on.

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