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Upgrades To Boost Far South West Fire Response

13 December 2021

Emergency responders in the state’s south west will be able respond faster to emergencies thanks to major upgrades of facilities in Dartmoor and Heywood, funded by the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today announced $2.85 million for upgrades at Forest Fire Management Victoria’s (FFMVic) Dartmoor depot and Heywood offices – works that will also create jobs in local communities.

New vehicle sheds and equipment storage will be delivered at Dartmoor depot, allowing more firefighting vehicles and heavy machinery to be housed onsite. The depot’s internal road layout will be redesigned to improve access, allowing vehicles and large machinery to respond faster to emergencies.

New fencing and lighting will be installed along with an outdoor structure that will provide a meeting space for large incident briefings in the event of a significant emergency.

Designs are also being prepared for a $350,000 upgrade of the Heywood offices. Plans include new changerooms to cater for an expanding FFMVic female workforce, with the number of operational female firefighters increasing by more than 20 per cent in the Far South West District over the last five years.

The offices will be redesigned to better accommodate FFMVic and other emergency agencies when the complex is activated as an Incident Control Centre in response to emergencies on public and private land.

Dedicated rooms will be built for field radio and aircraft support units and the main operations room will be expanded. When activated as an Incident Control Centre the Heywood complex can accommodate up to 80 emergency management specialists as they lead an emergency response.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“We’re continually improving the resources that support emergency agencies that respond to incidents that could threaten communities and the environment.”

"The upgrades at the Dartmoor depot will enable crews to deploy faster which is so important when bushfires strike.”

“It’s important to have more women in our emergency services, but we also need to provide women with the support and resources they need once they get there – our upgrade at Heywood will be a great example of that.”

Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford

“These upgrades are so important to our local communities and to our firefighters, including the increasing number of women firefighters who will be responding in emergency situations.”

Reviewed 13 December 2021

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