With the opening of a new $6.53 million fire station in Geraldton on Friday 22 April firefighters in the Midwest Gascoyne are better resourced than ever to support the growing regional community.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the new station, on North West Coastal Highway, delivers first class facilities for emergency services personnel who provide a lifesaving service to the community.
"They work to protect the community every day - responding to fires, road crashes, chemical spills and other serious incidents,” Mr Francis said.
"This new facility will provide extra capacity to allow firefighters to train, store equipment and recuperate between incidents."
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said that as communities like Geraldton continue to expand, DFES must be forward thinking and ensure it can meet the growing demand for emergency services.
“The state-of-the-art design of this fire station encapsulates DFES’ vision of catering for future expansion, and our commitment to adapting to the changing needs of the community,” Commissioner Gregson said.
“As more and more incidents occur in this State requiring crews from near and far, this additional capacity may be critical to emergency response in this region in the future.”
The purpose built station includes three large appliance bays and an increased accommodation capacity, with the ability to meet extra demand for staff and equipment in the future.
The facility features an outdoor training area, including a confined space rescue tower to enhance firefighters' skills, and a hygiene facility to ensure personnel are free from contaminants when returning from incidents.
Midwest Gascoyne Superintendent Kim Lambkin said the firefighters from the station face a diverse range of hazards and challenges.
“These include major industrial incidents, emergencies on heavy haulage road and rail networks, heavy export port facilities and its busy airport,” Superintendent Lambkin said.
“This means that the men and women who serve here must receive varied and intense training. These training needs are catered for by this building.”
Last year, firefighters from Geraldton Fire Station attended more than 450 incidents. Demand for emergency services is expected to increase, with the population in the region predicted to grow to more than 80,000 by 2026.
The new fire station replaces the existing station which was built on Durlacher Street in 1969.