MAJOR upgrades to fire services in Warrnambool and district have been recommended to handle rapid growth in housing and industries.
New stations, extra brigades and more modern equipment will be considered.
The Country Fire Authority has just completed an operations infrastructure plan for the city and has similar studies under way in Moyne, Glenelg and Corangamite shires.
Moyne's position as a major base for huge renewable energy projects, Portland's busy harbour and Corangamite's proximity to the Otways will be addressed.
CFA regional director for Barwon South West, Bob Barry, told The Standard yesterday there were clear indications planning had to cater for rapid growth of the city and district.
"We'll look at additional infrastructure with either a satellite station with a new brigade or enhancement of the existing facility," he said.
"It's very much on the drawing board. We could seek government funding or we could put it in the CFA capital works budget.
"Finances are extremely tight, but that doesn't stop us from moving ahead."
In the meantime, the authority yesterday confirmed Warrnambool will soon get its promised new aerial pumper truck to handle fires in tall buildings and a technical rescue vehicle had also been allocated.
The announcement ends a two-year stalemate.
CFA headquarters told The Standard new aerial pumper vehicles were in the final stages of minor modifications.
"Some adjustments will also be made to some stations to accommodate these vehicles," the authority said.
"Aerial pumpers will be delivered to fire stations this year, including Warrnambool. Warrnambool has been earmarked to receive a technical rescue vehicle and planning for how this project will be delivered is still under way."
Mr Barry said he was told this week upgrades for the Warrnambool station had been approved and planning would resume.
"My understanding is works will start this financial year," he said.
The million-dollar-plus aerial pumper was approved two years ago and is sitting at Fiskville training centre awaiting a bigger garage at the Warrnambool fire station and extra quarters for staff.
United Firefighters' Union Warrnambool delegate Troy Cleverley said the truck was being used by recruits at Fiskville and sitting out in the weather.
"This vehicle is needed here as a district response vehicle," he said.
"We could have used it at the recent Portland IGA fire and Portland tar pitch leak.
"It would also be available for the Port Campbell gas infrastructure and Hamilton.
"We need extra quarters for the staff who would man the vehicle and larger garaging for the truck."