A GROWING trend in signing up female members is leading the latest push for a new Port Fairy CFA station.
The current station has just one female toilet and no changerooms.
This means male and female members have to change alongside each other in cramped spaces at the back of the trucks.
A successful campaign to recruit female members in recent years has been an outstanding success – so much so that there is a 50-50 roll call when it comes to male and female members.
Alicia Drew has been part of the brigade for three and a half years.
Ms Drew said the need for a new station has never been greater.
“There are no change rooms so that can make it very awkward,” Ms Drew said.
“At the moment, if we need to get changed it just has to happen as we are about to get into the trucks. We definitely need men’s and women’s change rooms.
“The whole space is just so tight, we have to move the trucks out a bit so we can squeeze in and get our coats off the hooks.
“That sort of thing is far from ideal.”
The brigade is in the middle of a recruiting drive.
Ms Drew said the commitment of a new station would provide a huge boost.
“The bigger and better the station, the more chance we have of attracting new members,” she said.
“If we can offer good facilities then it would certainly help.”
The fight for a new station has been waged for many years by the Port Fairy brigade.
The brigade argues it has outgrown its current home at James Street, both for room for its equipment plus amenities for members.
It is better news for the Koroit CFA brigade, with the first steps in building its new station beginning last month.
A new station will be built on Mill Street, replacing the High Street station that the brigade has outgrown.
CFA District Five operations manager Richard Bourke said the new building would include office facilities and it will also be a satellite station for Port Fairy SES that can accommodate one of their vehicles.
The land for the new station has been acquired by arrangement with Moyne Health Services. A 21-year lease on the one acre of crown land has been granted for the station.