By Jamie Salter
Victoria’s volunteer firefighters will be even better protected while training and responding to emergencies thanks to generous community donations that will enable a defibrillator to be installed on every CFA brigade and group vehicle.
Donations to the CFA and Brigades Donations Fund and the CFA Public Fund means $2.543 million will be allocated to purchase more than 1,130 defibrillators.
By mid-2022, every CFA brigade and group vehicle will have a dedicated defibrillator onboard.
Narre Warren CFA captain Travis Carter said the brigade’s firetrucks have had defibrillators for the past five years.
“It’s important that all brigades have these defibrillators out on the fire ground because if someone does have a cardiac arrest, we’re in a position where we can do something rather than wait for an ambulance,” Mr Carter said.
“You have a better chance at saving lives and it’s not just for our members, it can be used on the public.”
He said the funding would help support rural brigades that are unable to purchase the defibrillators themselves.
“It’s all about protecting our members and it has become part of our first aid training.”
CFA and Brigades Donations Fund chair Graeme Jilbert said all funds were allocated to benefit volunteers and the community, and in line with suggestions and requests from members.
“People donating to CFA want the money to be spent where they make a difference to our hard-working volunteers and our communities,” he said.
“We are so grateful and humbled by the community’s support which means our members are now further protected as a result of these additional defibrillators.”
CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said the life-saving equipment will improve the safety of both firefighters and community members.
“Our members are volunteers who give up their time to help keep their communities safe and I’m so pleased that with the support of the community’s generous donations, CFA is able to do its part in keeping them as safe as possible.”