Narrandera’s Volunteer Rescue Association squad was handed the keys to their new $380,000 rescue truck on Thursday by NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott.
Attending the event were VRA representatives from Leeton, Coleambally, Corowa, Taree and Albury, along with Narrandera Shire Council staff and councillors. Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined the Minister for vehicle handover.
Ms Cooke said the new Isuzu light rigid rescue vehicle was an investment in the community’s safety.
“The VRA does an amazing job servicing our community in times of crisis and it’s vital they have the tools they need,”Ms Cooke said. “While emergencies are unfortunately always going to occur, we can invest in the rapid response and the equipment groups like the VRA deserve. I know this vehicle will be well-used and well-loved by the Narrandera VRA unit.”
“I also want to celebrate Wai Lingen who marks 50 years of service with the VRA. This is a remarkable achievement and is an incredible milestone. Mr Lingen has given so much time and energy to the community over the past five decades with the VRA.”
Minister Elliot also undertook an official handover of a new Light Rigid Rescue vehicle to the Wagga Wagga VRA Squad.
“These vehicles are part of the NSW’s government $18.3 million investment into the VRA over four years,”Mr Elliott said.
“The purpose-built rescue vehicles will be an asset to their communities and the volunteers that use them.”
VRA Commissioner Mark Gibson welcomed the NSW government investment.
“The Narrandera and Wagga Wagga squads will use these vehicles to respond to road incidents, rescues, and assist other agencies during times of disaster,”Mr Gibson said.
The new vehicle was blessed by VRA state chaplain Roy Lotty, of Thornton followed by the presentation of citations to Tammy Riddell, Wayne Heidtmann, Narrandera, Tarryn and Robert Slot, Corowa, and Craig Munro, Corowa.
Narrandera VRA training officer Alastair Macdonald said the new truck replaced a 1975 Acco rescue truck. “Eventually we will retire the old truck but at the moment we are still running both trucks,”Mr Macdonald said.
“It’s worth $380,000 fully equipped and is set up for motor vehicle accidents and general land rescue. This vehicle can carry three operators – each side of the vehicle is set up for ease of access.
We have hydraulics in the rear and Holmatro battery operated recue equipment on the side – each new squad vehicle has an identical layout so members can find equipment if working with another squad.
“This light rigid vehicle is an auto and was fully equipped, registered, presented to us, and has been a long time coming.
“It will definitely improve our response times and our capability.”
Mr Macdonald said the squad now has 15 active members and three trainees working through their accreditation program.
This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 27 May 2021.