CFA’s numbers were boosted today with the graduation of 21 career firefighters at the Fiskville training centre.
Representing Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells, Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services David Southwick, congratulated Victoria’s newest career firefighters on dedicating themselves to protecting lives and property.
“The Napthine Government is proud of the vital work performed by more than more than 59,000 CFA volunteers and 1,550 career personnel who protect 3.3 million Victorians and more than one million properties,” Mr Southwick said.
“From Melbourne’s outer suburbs to major regional centres and smaller towns across the state, you are now part of an army of career and volunteer firefighters.”
Mr Southwick said the graduating new firefighters range in age from 23 to 42 and come from a range of backgrounds including trades, transport, emergency services, education, defence and the health sector.
“Some of the graduating firefighters also have previous experience working as volunteer CFA firefighters, which is fantastic,” Mr Southwick said.
“Today’s graduates will be posted to 12 stations including Caroline Springs, Cranbourne, and Hoppers Crossing in outer Melbourne as well as Ballarat City, Belmont, Bendigo, Mildura, Morwell, Rosebud, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga.”
Mr Southwick also payed tribute to Bradley Clarkson, Callum Steel and Simon Hrabe who were awarded the National Emergency Medal for service during the Black Saturday fires.
More than 4700 medals are being presented statewide for exemplary service during the fires which had an enormous impact on Victoria.
“CFA staff and volunteers perform a tremendous job responding to emergencies at any time of the day or night, in their own communities, elsewhere in Victoria or interstate and we are grateful for the work they do keeping Victorians safe, Mr Southwick said.
Mr Southwick said the Coalition Government has a strong commitment to firefighters and has provided more funding to Victoria’s fire agencies than any previous government.
“Since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion. This financial year the CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than under the last Labor Budget,” Mr Southwick said.
“This record investment in the CFA highlights the Coalition Government’s strong commitment to the CFA and recognises the critical role our career and volunteer firefighters play in keeping Victorians safe.
“The Coalition Government recently announced another significant boost to the CFA’s emergency response capabilities, investing more than $29 million in the purchase of 78 new vehicles.”
“Congratulations to all graduates on joining the ranks of CFA and thank you for the vital role you will play in contributing to the safety and well-being of the Victorian community.”
Photo: 2014 CFA Fiskville Graduation