EMERGENCY services will soon be able to reach off-road and farm accidents faster after the Warrnambool SES gained the last few dollars for a new top-of-the-line rescue truck.
Local philanthropic trusts and donations have provided $127,000 — matching the state government’s $100,000 cheque announced on Thursday by Premier and South West Coast MP Denis Napthine.
Warrnambool SES controller Giorgio Palmeri said the unit was often hampered by tough terrain, slowing down the response time for emergency workers reaching a remote scene in standard vehicles.
“The new truck we’re going to have is an Isuzu 4x4. It’s going to replace a 25-year-old truck that’s been in service in the region,” Mr Palmeri said.
“It’s going to be very useful because of the locations where we operate. Being 4x4 is going to give us the chance to respond to jobs that we couldn’t respond to normally — farm accidents, but even simple things like floods that we can’t access without a four-wheel-drive.”
The truck without equipment will cost $230,000 but will require another $50,000 to fit it out.
“This is a great program where the state puts in money and the local organisation raises the other portion of the money,” Dr Napthine said.
“Having a four-wheel-drive which will have a greater capacity and also have a more diverse range of equipment on board will complement the other vehicles here and make sure the unit here, which is one of the most busy in the state, have the equipment they need.”
“Warrnambool is the largest SES in our region. It’s not just the local area but the whole region that benefits from this investment.”