Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine today announced plans for a new Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) training facility in Craigieburn that would give firefighters one of the best emergency services training facilities in Australia.
Dr Napthine said the new $109 million complex, due for completion in late 2014, would challenge firefighters with realistic emergency scenarios tailored to Melbourne's unique urban landscape, including laneways, rail tunnels and tram stops.
"The new facility will meet the MFB's current and future training needs and allow it to deliver specialist emergency services, which include firefighting, urban search and rescue, marine response, emergency medical response and hazardous material response," Dr Napthine said.
"Training in real life hazard scenarios means better prepared firefighters, and better prepared firefighters mean a safer community," Dr Napthine said.
MFB is partnering with Major Projects Victoria to develop the facility, which will include environmentally sound design initiatives to maximise resource sustainability and minimise environmental impact.
MFB Chief Executive Officer Nick Easy said the state-of-the-art facility would also feature an academic building for classroom-based learning and a drill yard.
"A series of purpose-built training props simulating the Melbourne city environment will present firefighters with realistic emergency situations to test both recruits and serving firefighters," Mr Easy said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan said the facility would not only meet MFB's training requirements but had the capacity to be available to other emergency service organisations as required.
"The MFB Craigieburn facility is a dynamic example of incorporating agency interoperability," Mr Ryan said.
"The new facility further strengthens the MFB's role within the emergency services industry in the adoption and promotion of new technologies and the development and implementation of new training initiatives.
"This is also an exciting infrastructure project that will benefit all Victorians as well as the local City of Hume community, who will benefit from increased activity in the area," Mr Ryan said.
The facility is expected to be operational in 2014 and will occupy almost half of the 18.6 hectare site in Craigieburn.