Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan joined locals today from the communities of Beagle Bay and Djarindjin for the official launch of two new Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) Units for each of the communities.
The celebration took place outside the communities in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.
The new VFES units were established with the support of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) which helped install an extensive communication system, secured buildings to house the units and continues to deliver training to the communities on the Dampier Peninsula.
Despite not being officially opened, the two units, which have Toyota light tankers, have responded to fires and supported police at traffic accidents since 2018.
The unit vehicles have also been used for homeland and community planned burning activities.
DFES continues to recruit members for the VFES units, which come from the communities of Djarindjin, Lombadina and Ardyaloon.
The volunteers are mainly from the communities’ municipal services, the Nyul and Bardi Jawi Rangers, tourism and pearling industry. The DFES-accredited fire training they are receiving is due to be expanded to include response to natural hazards.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“This is a fantastic achievement by the communities to have only the second and third VFES units at an Aboriginal community in Western Australia.
“It is not an easy undertaking to start one of these units from scratch and I would like to congratulate everyone involved.
“I would especially like to acknowledge the many people at DFES, in particular the DFES Broome office for making these units a reality.
“It has taken many years and a lot of work, but these new units stand testament to everyone involved who want to improve community safety and take charge of their own emergency services.”