Baldivis: Shiny new toy for the fire season

Cheryl-Lee McOuat, Shirley Oliver, Reece Whitby, Ava (6) and Mia (4), Stuart Fitch, Neil Chaplin and Peter Skilton.
Cheryl-Lee McOuat, Shirley Oliver, Reece Whitby, Ava (6) and Mia (4), Stuart Fitch, Neil Chaplin and Peter Skilton.

MEMBERS of the Baldivis Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services could not keep the smiles from their faces when they collected the keys for their new ute at Rockingham Holden today.

The group had wanted the ute as a back-up to fire fighting so they could quickly transport crew in or out of a fire or emergency situation without having to use their fire truck each time.

After some setbacks they were eventually successful with a $40,000 grant from Baldivis MP Reece Whitby on behalf of the state government through it’s ‘Local Projects, Local Jobs scheme.

Captain Neil Chaplin looked proud as punch when New Vehicle Sales Manager Cheryl-Lee McOuat handed over the keys.

It will be our support ute and we thank Rockingham Holden for being very genourous with a good price for it,” he said.

“It will be marked up soon; ready for this fire season.”

“It is forecast for a reasonably bad fire season and this support ute will allow the fire truck to stay at the scene while people can be moved in or out quickly.”

Mr Chaplin also received a surprise gift from the car dealer to go with their shiny new toy.

“I asked Cheryl-Lee if they sold any heavy duty seat covers to protect the ute from dirty firefighting uniforms,” he said.

“She went out the back and asked if these were the ones and I said ‘yes’ – then she just handed them to me!”

“They were on the shopping list – but not anymore!”

Mr Whitby said he was relieved the service finally had their ute.

“This vehicle will be crucial to the operations of the Baldivis Volunteer Emergency Fire Service,” he said.

“Our local volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line and they deserve quality equipment to help them do their job.

“The Colorado crew can Ute was one of my key local election commitments and I’m so happy it is now being delivered to the brigade.

“The ute will allow firefighters and equipment to be transported to and from a fire without having to move fire trucks.

“I want to thank Captain Neil Chaplin and all his brigade members for working with me to help ensure the Ute was delivered.