A big win for Emergency Services Volunteers

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a $12.5 million boost to Victoria’s emergency services volunteer groups to help them purchase life-saving equipment, trucks, boats, and fund minor upgrades.

Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett said the 2015-16 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) grants would help volunteer groups keep their communities safe.

Under the program, the Government contributes $2 for every $1 contributed by local volunteer groups from organisations as the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA), Country Fire Authority (CFA), Life Saving Victoria (LSV), Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), and other eligible volunteer emergency services groups.

The 2015-16 VESEP program offered grants of up to $100,000. The allocation means that:

  • 43 VICSES units will share more than $2 million to purchase a range of operational equipment including storm trailers, rescue trucks and rescue equipment
  • 29 grants worth more than $665,000 will be provided to LSV clubs to support patrols with new water crafts and infrastructure upgrades
  • 202 grants totaling more than $7.1 million will be provided to CFA brigades for equipment ranging from tankers and command vehicles to amenities upgrades
  • AVCGA flotillas will receive 11 grants totaling more than $213,000 for vessel tracking equipment, radio upgrades and other essential amenities upgrades.
  • Other recipients such as Bush Search and Rescue Victoria, Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad, St John Ambulance Australia and the Torquay Marine Rescue Service will receive grants to purchase or upgrade equipment.

In addition to individual grants, volunteers will also benefit from state-wide initiatives such as $1.9 million to CFA to replace equipment, provide specialist clothing and thermal imaging cameras across Victoria and more than $51,000 to LSV to purchase helmets to improve member safety on inflatable rescue boats.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett.

“The Andrews Labor Government recognises the enormous contribution of our 90,000 volunteers across the state and we’re pleased to support them by helping to fund life-saving equipment and vehicles.”

“Volunteers are the backbone of our community. They help protect the lives of more than 3.3 million Victorians and deserve our support.”