Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) members in the Riverina on Saturday to celebrate the official opening of the new Illabo Rural Fire Brigade’s fire station and the delivery of three state-of-the-art new fire trucks.
“The new $240,000 fire station on Turland Street will now accommodate the brigade’s two tankers and provide a fit-for-purpose base of operations for the Brigade, as well as an important hub for the community,” Ms Cooke said.
“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to providing our frontline emergency services personnel with the very best facilities to enable them to keep communities safer and stronger when future hazards emerge.”
Ms Cooke said the handover of keys to a Category 6 fire truck and Category 17 prime mover to the Junee Brigade and a Category 1 tanker to the Old Junee Brigade was a significant boost to the firefighting capabilities in the Riverina.
“These firefighting appliances are worth a combined $1 million but to our RFS members, they are a priceless resource that will greatly assist them protecting the community.”
“The prime mover is a particularly impressive addition to the Junee Brigade and I’d like to acknowledge the generosity of the public in helping fund the asset through the RFS and Brigades Donations Fund.”
Members of the Bethungra, Illabo, Junee and Wantabadgery brigades were also recognised for their efforts during the devastating Black Summer bush fires as well as dedication to the Brigade and local community over many years, with the presentation of 17 National Emergency Medals.
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said the National Emergency Medal is awarded to persons who rendered sustained or significant service during nationally significant emergencies in Australia, including the 2019-20 bush fires.
“Every single one of these members should be proud of themselves and their dedication to protecting communities across the state, especially during that devastating season,” Commissioner Rogers 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 Riverina.
“We also thank the family, friends, employers and colleagues of all RFS volunteers. We know it takes their ongoing support and patience to assist and enable our volunteers to do what they do to save lives and property.”