District welcomes new emergency services resources

21 February 2013

Emergency services in the Jondaryan district have been given a substantial boost with the Rural Fire Brigade welcoming assistance to construct a new, larger building to house vital equipment.

The three-bay shed, which will assist all emergency services during future incidents throughout the region, will be constructed to the rear of the existing fire station building in Jondaryan. Recognising the importance of the project to the community, the New Hope Group has donated $10,000 towards the new infrastructure. Jondaryan Rural Fire Brigade Treasurer and Third Officer Barry Byrne said the donation would be a huge benefit not just to Jondaryan, but also to the many communities around the district.

“The Jondaryan brigade covers a large area from Oakey to Bowenville, south to the Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road, and north to the other side of Acland.

“We also get called upon to support other brigades in this area – for example just before Christmas our new truck went to the Goombungee-Maclagan Road for a fire, and then on the same night to a fire at Haden.”

The new shed will store equipment including a communications vehicle and the new water tanker truck that was allocated to the Jondaryan station late last year which will be used for the whole region west of Toowoomba.

“The donation from New Hope has definitely allowed us to build this new shed sooner rather than later,” Mr Byrne said.

“It makes the whole project more viable and achievable. New Hope’s assistance has made this all so much easier.”

Mr Byrne said the need for the larger facility was brought home during the 2011 floods and the more recent severe weather.

“On the recent Australia Day weekend we were used as a central point to monitor any flooding and coordinate all the different agencies involved such as fire trucks, council crews, police and others,” he said.

“This donation will in future enable us to use our existing shed as a central local emergency centre and a training facility for the entire group of nine rural fire brigades in our region.”

Mr Byrne hoped the improved infrastructure would have another important spin-off effect.

“As a voluntary organisation we hope this new building will allow us to have a more professional presence in the community, which we hope will help attract more volunteers,” he said.

“We have 19 volunteers at the moment but like many volunteer groups, we always need more people.

“We offer training on the first Tuesday of the month and the third Saturday – and we’d encourage anyone who’s interested in the Rural Fire Service to get in touch.”

The brigade hopes to lay the slab for the new building around the 11th of March and have the project completed by the end of May.