The original initiative, made possible by the Myer Foundation under its 2009 Commemorative Grants Program, has been completed on time and under budget thanks to the labour and skill provided by local brigades.
By using the plumbing, site preparation and construction expertise among CFA members, money saved with donated volunteer services meant more than 40 extra tanks have been fitted to other brigades to date.
The Brumby Government, recognising the value of the project and the commitment of CFA volunteers, has matched the initial Myer Foundation grant dollar for dollar. The benefits of the project include:
- a ‘first fill’ volume of water for firefighting emergencies
- water for brigade training
- water to clean vehicles and equipment, which means brigades won’t have to travel to remote locations for cleaning. This will reduce firefighter fatigue, demands on volunteers’ time and fuel consumption
- demonstrating to the community that CFA handles water in a responsible manner
- the ability for rainwater tanks to be filled with recycled water in the event of a prolonged drought. CFA has investigated the use of Class A recycled water and found that it poses no risk to firefighter health.
This program forms part of CFA’s broader Sustainable Water Program and is coordinated by CFA’s Asset Management Directorate. Brigades interested in the water tank program should contact the Asset Maintenance Coordinator at their Area HQ.
CFA Chairman Kerry Murphy said the Myer 2009 Commemorative Grants Program funding of the project was a wonderful gesture that not only supported volunteers but additionally paid a “double dividend” by giving something directly back to their broader communities through this environmentally-sustainable project.
By Ebru Yaman
(The video was produced by CFA Public Affairs in 2008 as part of CFA's efforts to secure funding from the Myer Foundation.)