Nine new specialist rescue vehicles worth over $2.75 million will soon save lives across the state after being handed over to the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) at their Dubbo headquarters this weekend.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
"Today's a very special day for VRA Rescue NSW, we're launching nine new specialist rescue vehicles for regional, rural and remote squads," VRA Commissioner Brenton Charlton said, addressing the media at the handover ceremony on Saturday, May 27.
"The capabilities and equipment on board these specialist rescue vehicles are equipped for general land rescues, road crash, vertical rescue and even flood rescue.
"This is a significant enhancement and opportunity for our operators. It increases their safety, their performance and more importantly the protection of the members of our communities."
The nine vehicles launched at the ceremony include five Medium Rescue vehicles for the Leeton, Lithgow, Merriwa, Narooma, and Corowa Squads, two 4WD Remote Access Light Rescue vehicles for the Quirindi and Guyra Squads and one specialist rescue support vehicle and 4WD Command and Logistics Support vehicle to operate statewide.
"Getting the new vehicle is absolutely amazing - it's a compact unit which will have most of the gear we need. The fact that it's state-of-the-art, new equipment that's reliable, it's efficient - it just helps us operate so much easier," Hanneke Claassen, a VRA volunteer from the town of Guyra in the Northern Tablelands who was in Dubbo for the event, said.
"We attend a range of different things, mainly road crash rescue response. We also often work with other emergency services such as air ambulance to gain entry into homes when they have a patient they can't get access to as well as lift assist for ambulance and police.
"The vehicle we've received will help us respond efficiently to our community and help save lives."
As well as the handover of the vehicles, retired VRA commissioner Mark Gibson - who got the ball rolling on securing the new vehicles - was presented a photo book commemorating his time at the VRA.
Speaking at the event, member for Dubbo and NSW Nationals leader Dugald Saunders said he is grateful for the important work done by VRA Rescue NSW volunteers.
"VRA Rescue NSW plays a crucial role in our local communities, providing vital emergency response services," he said.
"I am confident that these new vehicles will further enhance the capabilities of the rescue squads, enabling them to respond swiftly and effectively in times of need."
While he couldn't be at the event on the day, NSW emergency services minister Jihad Dib also expressed his gratitude for the work of VRA units across the state.
"I have the utmost respect for anyone who sacrifices their own time to help those in greater need than themselves and it's a genuine pleasure to provide these specialised vehicles to VRA Rescue NSW so that important work can continue," Mr Dib said.
"I hope these vehicles aren't needed on a regular basis but when they are called in to service, I trust they will make the lives of those working in them easier and help greater protect the lives of the people they serve."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.