Firies sad to see station go

Mayor John Gangell with volunteers Brandon McKinlay, Ivanka Radalj and life members Ross McDonald and Roy Weatherburn. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404708
Mayor John Gangell with volunteers Brandon McKinlay, Ivanka Radalj and life members Ross McDonald and Roy Weatherburn. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404708

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) advised the local brigade last week that it would relocate to Forrestfield.

Mr Smith, who has volunteered there for five years, said he was disappointed with the final decision.

Metropolitan Assistant Commissioner Brad Stringer said it had not been made lightly.

Mr Stringer said a number of meetings about the brigade’s future had been held with the station over the past 12 months.

‘The primary reason for the decision is that the Bassendean Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service have not had a designated response area for some time, and as such, their valuable skills and knowledge are not being used effectively,’ he said.

But Mr Smith said the relocation of the brigade would result in the loss of quite a few of their members and delay response times to jobs.

‘They have basically told us about the facility in Forrestfield and said that’s the choice, you either go out there or do something else,’ he said.

‘The response time will increase but DFES have said we are not a primary responder so apparently that doesn’t matter ” that’s what they have said.’

Bassendean Mayor John Gangell echoed Mr Smith’s concerns, saying DFES had not put the community first and that the decision had more to do with cost cutting than anything else.

‘Effectively, what they are doing is taking a volunteer fire brigade out of the heart and fabric of a community and putting them in an isolated area in an industrial estate,’ Cr Gangell said.

‘I think I speak on behalf of everybody in the town, it is hugely disappointing that this is occurring.’

Mr Stringer denied the closure of the station was a way to cut costs.

He said some volunteers had expressed their interest in joining the new unit based at the WA Fire and Emergency Services Academy in Forrestfield.

‘The people of Bassendean will continue to be serviced by the career Fire and Rescue Service that is relocating to a new station on Morley Drive in Kiara,’ he said.

‘There will be no effect to initial response times across the metropolitan area, or in the Town of Bassendean, as DFES has invested in a new career fire station in Kiara that will greatly benefit the community.

‘The Bassendean VFRS have not had a designated response area for some time, and DFES is working in collaboration with the volunteers about their future role and options are being considered on how they can best support operational services.’

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