On Christmas Eve, Yarrawonga Fire Brigade took ownership of a brand new light tanker, fondly titled ‘Tanker 2’ by the brigade’s 22 active members.
“It’s a light tanker containing 1700 litres of water,” the brigade’s First Lieutenant Simon Crawford told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
That amount compares to 3,000 litres of water pumped out by the first tanker. “This tanker is more versatile,” Mr Crawford, who has 33 years of service in the fire movement, including as Tungamah captain for 12 years, said.
“It’s still a sufficient amount of water for attack on a fire. It’s a brand new appliance, CFA-built.
“We now have two tankers and one pumper. We refer to the new tanker as ‘Tanker 2’.”
The approximate $160,000 tanker received financial backing from ClubMulwala. In his first year in the role, captain of Yarrawonga Fire Brigade Cade Phillips expressed he brigade’s appreciation to ClubMulwala.
“We very much appreciate ClubMulwala’s contribution. Without their help, this would never have happened,” Mr Phillips said.
“It’s a big step forward for us in what we all know is such an increasingly serious situation with bushfires.”
ClubMulwala Chief Executive Officer Alan Rowe said he would pass on Yarrawonga Fire Brigade’s appreciation to the club’s Board of Directors.
“This type of donation is a priority of our Board of Directors – for both Yarrawonga and Mulwala. We were happy to help out,” the CEO said.
Group Officer Craig Prescott for the five local Victorian fire brigades of Yarrawonga, Bundalong, Wilby, Burramine and Peechelba added his appreciation to ClubMulwala for its donation and the community in general for their support to local fundraising efforts.
But Mr Prescott highlighted the big job by local volunteer firefighters over long periods of time in meeting grant qualification requirements.
“We have to raise 30 per cent – a third – of what’s required for what we believe is appropriate for us to protect communities,” he said.
“We still need to fundraise all the time and if anyone has any financial donations they’d like to make, they’d be so welcome for us to ensure we have the most appropriate vehicles and equipment.”
Obtaining the light tanker involved a fundraising effort over the last six years according to Mr Crawford.
“ClubMulwala has given us donations over the years, we were successful with a VESP (Volunteer Emergency Services Program) grant from the State Government and we’ve had to raise at least 30 per cent of the total cost,” he said.