NSW Rural Fire Service’s (NSW RFS) South West Slopes Zone is celebrating the official handover of a new $354,000 fire truck that will assist the Jugiong Brigade volunteers to provide a greater level of fire protection to the local community.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined NSW RFS Area Commander Chief Superintendent Tim Butcher on the weekend to officially hand over the keys to the CAT 1 tanker, and recognise the commitment of the Brigade’s long-serving members.

“This new, state-of-the-art vehicle is worth $354,000, but to the dedicated members of the Jugiong Rural Fire Brigade it is priceless as it will assist and strengthen their firefighting efforts,” Ms Cooke said.

“This new CAT 1 will prove itself to be an asset to the team of volunteers as they provide immeasurable assistance not only within the local community but indeed the whole of NSW and Australia in times of need.

“The NSW Government’s ongoing investment in new vehicles ensures that our RFS volunteers in Jugiong and right across this State have access to modern firefighting technology when responding to fires and a range of other incidents.”

The event also provided an opportunity to recognise nine Jugiong Brigade members who had together amassed 239 years of service to the NSW RFS. Two members were also presented with the National Emergency Medal.

Chief Superintendent Butcher said the National Emergency Medal was awarded to those whose service was in the protection of lives and property or in the service of interests that are not their own and who supported the emergency response for a minimum of five days between September 2019 and February 2020.

“I particularly wish to congratulate Kevin Fairall on his 47 years of service and receiving the National Emergency Medal, and James Grange for his 45 years of service. Kevin is currently Captain and James Deputy Captain of the Brigade,” Chief Superintendent Butcher said.

“I would like to take this time to praise all our volunteers for their ongoing efforts each and every day, particularly when dealing with emergencies here in the South West Slopes.

“These men and women remain on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we should be extremely proud and grateful for their contribution.”