Woronora River residents get first floating fire station

Woronora River residents get first floating fire station  

16 September 2011

published by www.theleader.com.au

Australia — RESIDENTS living along the Woronora River will benefit from what is believed to be the first floating bushfire station in Australia.

Three fire-fighting boats are stored on pontoons inside a boat shed on the water and, in an emergency, can quickly be lowered and dispatched through remote-controlled doors.

The facility is included in improvements, costing $1.7 million, to the Woronora Bushfire Station, on the western side of the low-level bridge.

Funded by Sutherland Shire Council and the NSW Rural Fire Service, the upgraded fire station was officially opened on Saturday.

Built in the 1970s, the old fire station was the size of a garage.

Now, it is two storeys, with the upstairs providing office space, training room, kitchen and amenities as well as a stair lift for people with a disability.

Downstairs there are new wash and change rooms, toilets and a storage area. The adjoining public toilets have been upgraded for use by people with a disability.

Rural Fire Service’s district manager, Superintendent Andrew Pinfold, said he believed the floating fire station was a “first” in Australia.

“Previously, the fire boats were housed in the onshore fire station and had to be winched into the river,” he said.

“The new facility will save about 10 minutes, which can be vital in an emergency, and also address OH&S issues.”

Superintendent Pinfold said in addition to fire-fighting the Woronora brigade supported the ambulance service in accessing homes by the river that did not have road access.

Mayor Phil Blight said the improvements were designed and constructed by the council following extensive consultation and assistance from the Rural Fire Service and the Woronora brigade.

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