Brigades given funds

06 Jun 2018 Benalla Ensign, Benalla VIC (General News) Benalla, Baddaginnie and Lurgs volunteer firefighters have received a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars for vital equipment and initiatives to strengthen volunteerism. State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes recently announced there had been 106 successful applications in the first round of the CFAs Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program. The grants will provide volunteer firefighters with a welcome boost, supporting vital equipment and facility upgrades, as well as local initiatives that strengthen volunteerism and brigade culture. Four of the applications came from Benalla CFA which received more than $34 000 for: A thermal imaging camera; Four mobile refrigeration units to promote health and wellbeing; More than $10 000 of torches and e-flares; and State of the art IT hardware and software. Baddaginnie CFA was successful in receiving nearly $3000 in funding for new uniforms and helmet torches. Lurg CFA was successful in two applications valued at more than $5500 for meeting and facility room upgrades and headlamp torches. Ms Symes congratulated the Northern Victorian brigades in her electorate for their successful applications. State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan joined in the congratulations. Volunteers from Benalla Group brigades do a phenomenal job protecting their communities, year round, Ms Ryan said. They also travel to other areas in the state when needed and members give a significant amount of their time to maintaining brigade assets and fundraising so that equipment remains up to date. These grants will help alleviate some of this pressure and I congratulate Baddaginnie, Benalla and Lurg brigades on the power of work they did to apply for funding. The grants being provided are designed to support volunteer firefighters and brigades by: Addressing immediate needs and enhancing operational capability; Improving culture, diversity and fairness; Strengthening volunteer leadership skills; and Encouraging recruitment, retention and recognition of volunteers. The total value of the program is $10 million, with the remaining $4.84 million to be allocated in a second round of grants. The volunteers in country Northern Victoria are a treasured part of our community, so I am delighted they have been successful in securing this latest round of funding, Ms Symes said. Our volunteer firefighters are often the first line of defence against emergencies, and the Andrews Labor Government is committed to supporting them in every way we can. The first round of the Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program builds on the outstanding service volunteer brigades provide in protecting lives and properties across country Northern Victoria. Applications for the second round of grants is open for 30 days from June 1. The Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program is funded through an additional $60 million the State Government announced for Victorias fire services last October. For more information, visit