YANAKIE CFA has come up trumps in being awarded a grant worth $29,995 as it’s share in South Gippsland’s $92,247 State Government funding as part of the 2014-15 Volunteers Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).
VESEP is an ongoing program funded by the Victorian Government, which provides local emergency services volunteer groups access to grants for operational equipment, vehicles, appliances, and facility improvements.
Yanakie captain Sean Taylor, secretary Andrew Osborn and equipment officer Matthew Bewley are thrilled with the outcome of the grant application they submitted earlier this year.
VESEP contributes $2 for every $1 of funding contributed by the local volunteer group and accordingly, has granted almost $30,000 to the Yanakie CFA in response to the $15,000 committed by the brigade, which is comprised of funds contributed over the years by members of the community.
“We undertook a major fundraising campaign in 2006 when we applied for a grant for a slip-on fire-fighting unit, and the community’s response was amazing, even exceeding what we had hoped for,” said Yanakie CFA secretary Andrew Osborn.
“This community money and the grant funding will enable the building of an extension to the station to increase our effectiveness,” said captain Sean Taylor.
Currently, the area available for storage of equipment and vehicles is somewhat cramped and the new extension, measuring 7m x 4m, will be added to the western side of the existing building, allowing for storage of existing equipment – including personal protective equipment – thereby alleviating the problem of a lack of space, allowing for speedy access to vehicles and equipment.
In addition to storage facilities, there the new extension will also house a covered access area and a change room.
Although located in a relatively small township, Yanakie CFA assists Foster and Fish Creek with callouts and is the primary response brigade for Wilsons Promontory.
At this stage, a date has not yet been set for the building of the extension, however, it is expected to begin sometime in the immediate future.
“I am very pleased that Yanakie CFA has received this grant which will enhance its emergency response capability,” said Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien during his visit to the Yanakie CFA on July 29.
Yanakie is one of a number of local CFA brigades in South Gippsland awarded funds from the State Government’s Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program, with other recipients including the brigades of Yarram, Mirboo, Koonwarra, Devon North, Longford and Stradbroke.
This year the State Government allocated 260 grants to various volunteer organisations across the state, including the CFA, VIC SES, Life Saving Victoria and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association.
In all, 260 grants worth a total of $12 million dollars have been allocated across Victoria and, included in this number is a grant of $10,892 awarded to Port Welshpool Coast Guard for navigation equipment upgrades.
Mr O’Brien said that the State Government is committed to providing emergency services with the resources and equipment they need to keep Victorians safe.
“Your work is greatly appreciated and on behalf of the taxpayers, we are pleased to provide these funds to make your lives easier and to make your efforts in protecting the community even more effective,” Mr O’Brien said.
Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan congratulated the members of local emergency service agencies for their commitment to community protection.
“Here in South Gippsland we have many fantastic volunteers who work tirelessly to keep the members of our community safe and protected and these grants should go some way to helping them carry out their important work,” Mr Ryan said.
The Yanakie CFA brigade currently has 23 volunteer members and is very welcoming of anyone who may wish to come along to a meeting with a view joining. You don’t have to be a firefighter – there are many volunteer roles behind the scenes, for instance, within administration, fundraising or community education.
Meetings are held at the Yanakie CFA Fire Station on the last Thursday of every second month, with the next to be held on September 28. For further information, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer-careers/volunteers/ or phone 1800 232 636.