Work starts on CFA’s new home

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Hammer attack: Deputy Premier and Emergency Services Minister James Merlino wields a sledge hammer to begin the demolition – and replacement – of Edithvale fire station, watched by Kingston mayor David Eden and Mordialloc MP Tim Richardson. Picture: Gary Sissons

EDITHVALE’S new CFA station is a step closer after Emergency Services Minister James Merlino took a sledgehammer to the old fire station yesterday (Tuesday 11 April).

He and Mordialloc MP Tim Richardson donned their hard hats for a tour of the site, which is being transformed into a $3.35 million station with four vehicle bays.

Brigade members were consulted on amenities and their input has been vital, Mr Merlino said.

The custom-designed station will have a new meeting room and business hub where crews can work or study on site while waiting on emergency call outs.

The new building will house the brigade’s growing membership of about 100 and cater to increased demand from the community.

Mr Merlino and Mr Richardson met resident John Hennessey who sold his property to the CFA ahead of a range of attractive offers from developers. Mr Hennessey is a long-time neighbour and supporter of the brigade.

Crews service Edithvale, Aspendale, Chelsea and Chelsea Heights, and support CFA brigades at Patterson River, Keysborough, Springvale, and Carrum Downs, as well as into the Metropolitan Fire Brigade area.

Works at the station are due to be completed in December.

“In 2014 we promised to deliver a new fire station for Edithvale and we’re getting it done,” Mr Merlino said.

“This $3.35 million redevelopment will ensure firefighters have the resources they need get on with the job of keeping the community safe.”

Mr Richardson thanked Edithvale firefighters for operating from Chelsea Heights while work is underway.

“I also thank Mr Hennessey, who sold his property to the CFA to make way for the new fire station. Your support is hugely appreciated.”

The land next to the old CFA building cost $960,000.

Edithvale fire brigade was established in 1921 and registered with the Country Fire Brigades Board in July 1925.

The 92-year-old volunteer brigade works with CFA and MFB career staff.

The brigade has seen its membership increase to 100 over recent years, 30 per cent of which is female.

The brigade was among the first emergency medical response (EMR) units introduced into the CFA.  It attends more than 300 emergency calls a year and averages 10 volunteers to each emergency.

Its vehicle fleet includes a Type 3 Medium Isuzu Pumper, 3.2D Hino Tanker, Mazda T4600 Salvage, and Ford Territory Emergency Medical Response (EMR) Vehicle.

The brigade is pursuing a formal local alliance with SES to build integrated programs to minimise duplication in resourcing, fundraising and expenditure, volunteer effort and community engagement, consistent with the ‘we work as one’ emergency management sector operating philosophy.

To enhance its service delivery capability, particularly during weekday daytime hours, the brigade operates an business hub where members can work or study while being on-site to respond to any emergencies. The new building will include the first purpose built volunteer business hub.

These initiatives aim to ensure the brigade remains agile and viable into the future.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 12 April 2017

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