ANOTHER significant investment in the Chifley region's NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is well underway at O'Connell.
Work has commenced on a new $762,000 station for the O'Connell Rural Fire Brigades's volunteer firefighters.
This follows the recent completion of a new $3 million Chifley region fire control centre on Hampden Park Road that features the latest equipment, operational control and training facilities.
On Friday, the first sod was turned for O’Connell brigade’s new station which will be constructed at the corner of O’Connell and Mutton Falls roads, just 130 metres up the road from the current station.
The new shed will be 400 square metres and it will sit on a 1700 square metre Oberon-council owned site.
It will have a three-bay garage for the brigade’s vehicles, as well as meeting and training rooms, a workshop and kitchen.
O’Connell Rural Fire Brigade is one of the busiest in the region, and Captain Phil Le Breton said the fire station’s construction will be a benefit for members in allowing them to better serve the community.
“We just haven’t got the facilities that we need so this will make a huge difference,” he said.
Until now the brigade had been operating out of a much smaller station that was built on private property.
Captain Le Breton said the brigade’s 46 members regularly respond to a wide range of incidents including motor vehicle accidents and fires, as well assist other brigades where required.
NSW RFS Senior Assistant Commissioner Bruce McDonald said while the inside of the new station will have every modern feature required by the firefighters, the outside will be sympathetic to the heritage of the region.
“It’ll have heritage colours, look and style,” he said.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said there was a vital need to support the RFS volunteers as they assist the community in their time of need.
We just haven’t got the facilities that we need so this will make a huge difference.
“Our Rural Fire Service is made up of hard-working volunteers and these are the men and women that are called upon, it could be 24-hours-a-day,” he said.
The new station has been funded by local and state governments, as well as the NSW RFS’s Rural Fire Firefighting Fund.
The O’Connell station is due for completion in November this year.