DFES to take over vollies

Pierra WillixSound Telegraph
City of Rockingham administration building.
Camera IconCity of Rockingham administration building. Credit: WA News.

The City of Rockingham has approved a transfer of ownership of the Singleton Volunteers Bush Fire Brigade to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

The City is the responsible agency for fighting fire in Karnup and Keralup, which is covered by the Singleton Brigade.

The brigade was established in 1979 and has 50 members.

Members have been in discussion with the City and DFES representatives over the past 10 months about the future of the brigade and the potential for increased functions and responsibilities within the City’s district.

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At the general meeting of the Singleton VBFB held in December, members voted in favour of becoming a DFES managed brigade.

In their report to councillors, City officers said the transfer would derive “significant benefit” for the City and the community, with an increased presence of the State’s lead agency for fighting fire and natural hazard emergencies in the City’s district, additional training and support for volunteers and increased localised capability to combat emergencies.

“With this transfer, DFES will have assumed the role of combat agency for all fires (structural and bush) in the City of Rockingham, enabling the City to focus its resources on supporting (rather than leading) response to fire, fire prevention, increasing resilience in the community and on the critical local government function of managing recovery from emergencies and disasters,” they wrote in their report.

“Importantly, this change is supported by the volunteer membership of the Singleton VBFB who are excited about the opportunity to broaden their skills and experience to include combatting natural hazard emergencies.”

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