Glen Innes Severn Council Mayor Steve Toms, left, and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall unveil the plaque to officially open the new $3.4 million Northern Tablelands RFS Fire Control Centre on Saturday. RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons looks on.
Monday, 6 August 2018
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has done the honours in officially opening a new state-of-the-art $3.4 million NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) fire control centre and brigade station in Glen Innes over the weekend.
Around 150 RFS volunteers and members of the community turned out for the occasion, witnessing the launch of the Lambeth Street complex, which is now the headquarters of the Northern Tablelands fire district and the new nerve centre for the RFS fighting fires across the three local government areas of Inverell, Glen Innes Severn and Tenterfield.
“That’s an area covering over 21,000 square kilometres so this control centre equips local RFS crews with the modern tools to battle fires across the tablelands,” Mr Marshall said.
“It is the most advanced headquarters to manage emergency situations anywhere in country NSW.”
The complex incorporates the control centre, a Rural Fire Brigade station and State Mitigation Services facilities.
Mr Marshall was joined by NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Northern Tablelands RFS team manager Superintendent Chris Wallbridge, Mayor Steve Toms and Tenterfield Shire Mayor Peter Petty and brigade officers for the ceremony.
“This multi-million fire control centre equips local RFS crews with the modern tools to battle fires across the State’s north, including 400,000 hectares of national parks and forests,” Mr Marshall said.
“This impressive modern and centrally located structure will allow greater communication and response to major fire incidents across the District as well as being the home of the Glen Innes brigade, which is based in a separate two truck bay facility.”
The new complex includes upgraded office spaces, a fire operations room, new training rooms, kitchen facilities, storerooms, and a brigade station providing a comfortable space for RFS personnel and volunteers.
“This is a long awaited development because the RFS had outgrown its cramped headquarters, the former Severn Shire Council Chambers, in Bourke Street, but the new premises allow for future expansion, including four new jobs coming with the new headquarters,” Mr Marshall said.
“It’s great to see the old Betta Electrical building repurposed, to allow the RFS to consolidate their services, including their ability to manage remote fires and coordinate aerial water bombing.”
Saturday’s opening also honoured veteran members with the presentation of 29 medals and clasps to 29 RFS people who between them have given a total of 677 years of service, including Wellingrove brigade captain Terry Boyd, who was recognised for his 59 years of volunteer service.
The ceremony also welcomed the handover of seven new firefighting vehicles, worth almost $1 million, for the Glen Innes, Kings Plains, Emmaville, Inverell, Reddestone, Steinbrook and Wytaliba brigades.
Mr Marshall said the tanker and vehicles would provide a greater level of fire protection to local communities.