A new truck will be delivered to the Wagga Volunteer Rescue Squad as part of a $18.8 million cash injection from the state government.
The medium rescue truck destined for Wagga is one of 18 of that size to be rolled out around NSW, along with 12 quick response vehicles.
Another rescue truck will be delivered to Leeton as part of the funding, which will come over the next four years.
Wagga volunteers have also welcomed plans for the provision of equipment, communications and training, which will also be covered in the new funding.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Troy Grant was in Wagga on Tuesday to make the announcement.
“These volunteers often perform rescues under very challenging conditions, so we want to do everything we can to ensure they’re as safe as possible,” Mr Grant said.
For Wagga VRA members like John Rooke and Len Wilson, the Minister’s announcement was welcome.
“Not have to do do fundraising to provide our own equipment means will will have more time for training,” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Grant said the VRA was “purely about volunteers” and an invaluable service in 58 locations in NSW.
Over the last decade or so, they have received a grant from the NSW government of just over $1.3m. This has meant they have had to be significantly reliant on community fundraising in order to purchase fleets.
“The volunteers themselves, up to today, have had to buy their own personal protection equipment.”
The funding announcement has come after four years of discussions between the VRA and the state government, VRA commissioner Mark Gibson said.
“The funding will assist us in delivering approximately 30 new rescue vehicles,” he said.
“It allow us to standardise our fleet, equipment and library, as well as improve our training.”
The new funding arrangements are due to be put into in place later in the year.