Funding Boost For Volunteer Emergency Services

28 October 2022

Emergency service volunteers will be able to upgrade their equipment and facilities to continue keeping Victorians safe thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes today announced 250 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) grants worth $14 million for volunteer agencies across the state – including the hardworking volunteers who have been at the front line of our flood response.

Echuca Moama Search and Rescue will get nearly $115,000 to upgrade vital rescue equipment and boost its capability, while Shepparton will use their $92,000 grant to improve their headquarters.

Wycheproof and Bendigo VICSES will each buy a Toyota Hilux with their grants of more than $77,000 each, while Swan Hill, Nagambie, Gannawarra and Euroa CFA brigades will use their grants for a variety of new vehicles and tankers.

This year’s recipients of the VESEP grants also include CFA brigades at Axedale and Browns Plains which will use their respective grants of $214,000 each to buy a new light tanker, ensuring firefighters have what they need to protect their communities.

The Springhurst CFA brigade have received a $375,000 grant to buy a new medium tanker to add to the fleet. Features of the new tanker include a crew cab vehicle allowing all personnel to travel within the cabin to and from call outs, a 2,350-litre water capacity, four-wheel drive, radiant heat protection curtains fitted to all cabin windows and a spray protection system.

VICSES units across Victoria will be adding to their fleet too – Lilydale unit will use their $150,000 to add a 4x4 specialist vehicle to their fleet, while Hamilton unit will buy a Ford Ranger with their $85,000.

Our coastal emergency services will also beneft from the grants – Marine Search and Rescue Carrum Coast Guard will use their $50,000 grant to replace the engines in their main response vessel.

The Barwon Heads 13th Beach Life Saving Club will buy a Polaris Ranger and rescue board with their $24,000 grants, while the Cape Paterson Surf Lifesaving Club will buy a new side-by-side vehicle and accessories with their $17,600 grant.

In the past eight years, more than $100 million has been allocated through VESEP to Victorian brigades, clubs and units. Grants are available to volunteer emergency service groups, with the program providing $2 for every $1 raised by the volunteer groups. For the full list of successful VESEP grant recipients, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes

As we’ve seen already with the floods across Victoria, it’s going to be another busy season for our emergency service volunteers – that’s why we’re chipping in to help them get the equipment they need to keep Victorians safe.”

“These grants have been going strong since they were first set up more than twenty years ago – communities will continue to proudly contribute to local fundraising efforts, but we want to help reduce that task and demonstrate that we’ll always support our selfless volunteers.”

Reviewed 28 October 2022

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