Pilbara emergency services get a $1.65 million upgrade on land and sea

  • State Government hands over four new appliances and a marine rescue vessel
  • New appliances to support emergency services volunteers in Pilbara region
  • Investment strengthens frontline response to keep regional communities safe

The Cook Labor Government has injected a $1.65 million funding boost from the Emergency Services Levy, with four new frontline response vehicles and a marine search and rescue vessel delivered to help local emergency service volunteers.

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson and Member for the Pilbara Kevin Michel toured the region today to officially hand over the appliances to volunteer units in Dampier, Karratha, Roebourne, and Onslow.

The new resources will further strengthen the region’s response to fires and marine rescues, as well as natural hazard incidents including storms and floods.

Marine Rescue Dampier received a $950,000, 12-metre rigid-hulled search and rescue boat, named ‘Dampier Legend’.

It is powered by two 425-horsepower motors and incorporates the latest navigation technology, an infra-red search camera, and Radio Direction Finding equipment to locate mariners in distress.

It is the second new vessel delivered to the unit recently, with the $500,000 ‘Dampier Angel’ launched in 2023 along with a $130,000 heavy-duty four-wheel-drive for towing in difficult terrain and remote locations.

‘Dampier Legend’ will boost the capability of Marine Rescue Dampier, which only a month ago was involved in two life-saving rescue operations in a single day – one in darkness in the early hours of the morning involving four people who had been clinging to the upturned hull of their boat for about three hours in the ocean near Delambre Island, 45 kilometres from Dampier.

Dampier Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service has taken delivery of a new $250,000 Light Tanker capable of carrying 500 litres of water and 20 litres of foam, with improved crew safety features and all-terrain capability ideal for the Pilbara landscape.

This complements the region’s enhanced response capacity with a new Urban Pumper – Heavy Rescue appliance delivered to Karratha VFRS in December 2023, at a cost of approximately $813,000, and a $1 million upgrade to the station completed earlier this year.

State Emergency Service (SES) units in Karratha and Roebourne and Onslow Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service (VFES) have each received a $150,000 General Rescue Utility

vehicle, equipped for a rapid response to cyclone, flood, storm incidents, and missing persons searches.

The investment comes less than a year after the State Government delivered $4.6 million in new vessels, vehicles, and infrastructure for Marine Rescue units in Dampier and Carnarvon and VFRS brigades in Karratha and Port Hedland.

Last week, South West Emergency Services received a $3 million boost with new appliances handed over to the Bunbury CFRS, Bunbury VFRS, Harvey VFRS, Pinjarra VFRS, Harvey SES, and Australind SES.

Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:

“Emergency services volunteers in the Pilbara are responsible for protecting a region more than twice the size of the United Kingdom, and the State Government is proud to support them with cutting-edge resources to keep local communities safe.

“This $1.65m investment will provide a significant boost to the local crews who do an outstanding job responding to a wide range of emergencies, including fires, floods, cyclones, missing persons searches, and complex rescues.

“I know these resources will be a welcome addition to the Pilbara and I would like to thank all first responders in the region for their selfless commitment to keeping people safe.

“It is reassuring knowing that you are always ready to respond to incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.”

As stated by the Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

“It’s fantastic to see more investment in our emergency services appliances in the Pilbara.

“This is not just an investment in appliances and vessels, it’s a vital investment in our volunteers – in the people who are out there protecting us and our communities when they need it most.

“The Cook Government is doing the right thing for WA and our emergency service volunteers, ensuring our communities have the best resources and new facilities to respond to whatever the Pilbara throws at them.”


Appliances delivered to brigades and units in the Pilbara today:

Dampier Marine Rescue

  • 12m ‘Dampier Legend’ (cost approximately $950,000)

Dampier VFRS

  • 1 x Light Tankers (approximately $252,000)

Karratha SES:

  • 1 x General Rescue Utility (approximately $150,000)

Roebourne SES

  • 1 x General Rescue Utility (approximately $150,000)

Onslow VFES

  • 1 x General Rescue Utility (approximately $150,000

/Public Release. View in full here.