With the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) predicting a sizzling summer, Cessnock City Council has been busy upgrading NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) stations across the LGA.
Already, crews at Cessnock (Central), Neath, Kearsley, Laguna, Bucketty, Benwerrin, Quorrobolong, Pokolbin, Mulbring and Greta have faced several battles on the home front in the early stages of October.
But, the $1 million worth of improvements at the 11 Lower Hunter locations will ensure the region is better prepared for the bushfire season moving forward.
The various premises have undergone the installation or replacement of air-conditioning; construction of new amenities including meeting rooms, kitchens and bathrooms; building extensions; lighting upgrades; installation of new generators, pathways, internal and external painting; and roller door replacements over the past 12 months.
Council is also starting work on a new $930,000 Millfield Fire Station at Paxton Park, which will be funded via the NSW RFS with contributions from local government.
Cessnock City mayor Jay Suvaal said the overhaul of the facilities was timely.
“This is welcome news for local NSW RFS personnel as many of the stations required upgrades to support volunteers and the work they do in protecting our community,” he explained.
“The role the NSW RFS plays in our community is absolutely critical.
“We want to support them in any way we can as they are the first to help us in a crisis.
“The work delivered by our hard-working council teams means more capacity for larger fire trucks and volunteers, improved functionality of briefing/training facilities and a safer facility for community volunteers.”
The upgrades to Cessnock’s NSW RFS stations were made possible thanks to funding received from the NSW Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund.
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