When volunteers at Strathalbyn CFS Group found themselves in the dark attending callouts at night, the community group applied for an RAA Regional Safety Grant to help provide a solution.
CFS Strathalbyn Lieutenant Andrew Wardle said that when attending emergencies at night, crews had been reliant on vehicle mounted floodlights, which can have limited effectiveness.
“Provided we can get the truck near where we need the lighting. Which isn’t always possible,” he said.
“Working in the dark, relying purely on helmet torches isn’t always ideal.”
The Strathalbyn group has over 250 volunteers, from diverse backgrounds and ranging from 16 to over 70 years of age.
The safety grant has enabled the purchase of portable battery lighting for trucks across all seven brigades in the group.
“Now it’s just so easy, we can mount them virtually anywhere and it really makes the job a whole lot safer,” Mr Wardle said.
The Group’s brigades range from Langhorne Creek to Ashbourne, and attend around 250 call outs per year, including bushfires, house fires, vehicle accidents, storm events and chemical spills.
“Just last week we had two cars on fire, and as soon as we put the flames out, we couldn’t see so the floodlights came in exceptionally handy there.”
This year we’ve increased the total allocation from $50,000 to $70,000 for our regional safety grants, which are open to schools, not-for-profit organisations and other community groups.
RAA Insurance spokesman Shaun Ryan said the allocation had been increased recognition of the important role hard working regional community groups play in making their local areas safer during the pandemic.
“Fundraising for these important projects can be difficult for small regional communities, and RAA’s Regional Safety Grants play an important part in providing much needed funds,” he said.
Mr Wardle acknowledged the difference the grant has made to safety for volunteers with the provision of the lights and encouraged other groups to apply.
“We do some local fundraising to help out, but without the grant from RAA, we wouldn’t have been able to afford them.
“We’d like to thank from the bottom of our heart the support from RAA in improving volunteer safety out on the ground.”
Recipients of this year’s Regional Safety Grants will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information all our grants visit www.raa.com.au/grants.