The purchase of a new pump will mean response times to marine fires in the Bribie Island region will be dramatically reduced thanks to a new partnership struck between Volunteer Marine Rescue and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Under the agreement Queensland Fire and Emergency Services will store vital firefighting equipment, including a water pump and fire hoses, at the Bribie Island’s VMR headquarters, which can be attached to volunteer vessels for fighting marine fires.

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey said response times would be significantly reduced as a result of the agreement.

“This is yet another example of the Newman Government revitalising frontline services by delivering simple, cost-effective solutions to protect the lives of Queenslanders,” Mr Dempsey said.

“Traditionally firefighters have responded to marine fires by unloading equipment from a truck onto a Volunteer Marine Rescue vessel with response times taking up to 75 minutes. This agreement will reduce response times to around 15 to 20 minutes.

“By keeping the firefighting resources at the Volunteer Marine Rescue facility at Bribie Island, firefighters can attach the equipment to one of the volunteer marine vessels and be fighting a fire a lot sooner.

“It also means that equipment will no longer be taken off a fire vehicle which means it remains available to respond to other incidents.”

Mr Dempsey said the small cost of the initiative will bring enormous benefits to the Bribie Island community.

“The pump only costs around $1,200, but the reduced response times mean that lives and property can be protected a lot faster,” he said.

Member for Pumicestone Lisa France said Bribie Island Queensland Fire and Emergency Services staff and Volunteer Marine Rescue volunteers had been working on the agreement after seeing the benefits of a similar arrangement at Sandgate.

“Our local emergency services staff and volunteers recognised the need for firefighting equipment to be stored at the Volunteer Marine Rescue facility and I was very pleased to be able to lobby the Minister to have the pump and hoses provided,” Ms France said.

“We hope that this equipment is rarely needed but I am certain that the boating community and other users of the waterways around Bribie Island will be pleased that should an incident occur we will be able to respond sooner.”

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