Ben Franklin

Fire protection and the emergency response for the Ballina community will be boosted with the handover of a new pumper to Ballina Fire Station and a new defibrillator to the Marine Rescue unit thanks to the NSW Nationals in the state government.??

NSW Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin attended the local fire station on Thursday to officially hand over the new pumper worth $450,000.

The pumper is able to supply up to 3000 litres of water per minute and features a Compressed Air Foam (CAFs) system with biodegradable foam, assisting firefighters in responding to chemical, petrol and bushfire-related incidents. The new vehicle is fitted with a GPS navigation unit and an electronic message board on the back to warn motorists of emergency operations.

Mr Franklin said this new vehicle would serve to improve emergency response in Ballina area providing even greater protection for?local?residents.?

“The NSW Government recognises the wonderful work FRNSW do in responding to a range of emergencies across NSW. This pumper will go a long way to ensure they can continue to keep our communities, and themselves, safe,” Mr Franklin said.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Paul Baxter said FRNSW is continuing to provide its firefighters with modern vehicles that will offer top-of-the-line capabilities to protect NSW families.?

“Latest figures show that Ballina firefighters respond to over 450 emergency incidents each year and partake in more than 180 community safety activities to educate the local community about fire safety, so it is fitting that they receive this new pumper,” he said.

Mr Franklin also attended Marine Rescue Ballina to handover a new defibrillator to the unit and inspect the unit’s new crew room on a floating pontoon alongside its rescue vessel, Ballina 30.

The new equipment, worth $2500, will ensure anyone suffering a medical emergency on the waterways will get the help they need, as Marine Rescue volunteers in Ballina play a vital role in keeping the many local and visiting boaters safe.

Mr Franklin said the pontoon, installed earlier this year in a $100,000 project, was assisting response times for crews.

“The new facilities allow crews to be on board and underway in minutes when the call for help comes, rather than driving to the boat from the unit’s base closer to the bar,” Mr Franklin said.

The NSW Nationals in the state government have invested $37.6 million over four years to deliver Marine Rescue NSW 38 new rescue vessels, improve volunteer facilities and continue upgrading the marine radio network.