Posted on 20. May, 2010 in Victoria

Regional VICSES units were big winners in the 2010/11 State Budget, gaining $11.6 million across the state for a massive upgrade of rescue vehicles and safety equipment such as road accident kits and pagers.

Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron today visited Bendigo VICSES headquarters to hand over a new $27,500 storm trailer, saying the Brumby Labor Government was committed to ensuring the state’s VICSES volunteers had the resources they needed.

“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to continue supporting our emergency services as they go about their important work of protecting and helping Victorians all across regional areas,” Mr Cameron said.

“This year’s Budget funding builds on a decade of investment in our emergency VICSES workers and will see 20 new replacement vehicles, 11 road accident kits, 18 rescue trailers and 800 pagers delivered across the state.

“Since 1999 we have delivered 111 vehicles to SES along with a budget increase to the organisation of 270 per cent – and we will continue to invest in the important work and equipment our emergency service workers and volunteers need.

“Across the state 5,500 VICSES volunteers are on call day and night to assist the community during times of great need and respond to around 19,000 requests for assistance every year.

“In Victoria more than 100 VICSES units have volunteers trained to carry out road rescue operations – many in regional areas including the Bendigo Unit – and they attend an average of 1400 road accidents a year.

“The new road accident kits will help with this important work especially on regional roads, providing crews with the ‘jaws of life’ hydraulic spreader, hydraulic sheers and associated tools such as hydraulic pump, hydraulic hose reels, hand-operated pump and a hydraulic ram.”

Mr Cameron said the Bendigo VICSES’ new storm trailer had additional storage space that enables more equipment to be easily carried to call-outs and improved safety features.

“This new storm trailer is a significant asset for the Bendigo VICSES Unit which has 45 volunteers who assist the community with road rescue, storm recovery, flood assistance, line searches and lighting,” Mr Cameron said.

“Over the March Labor Day weekend VICSES volunteers across the state responded to more the 7800 calls for assistance when some of the worst storms in recent times battered regional Victoria and the metropolitan area.

“On behalf of all Victorians, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank VICSES staff and volunteers for their hard work, commitment and dedication to making Victoria a better and safer place.”

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