Funding secured for new RFS training facility

Rick Colless, Mark Mulheron, Graeme Miller and Andrew Rawsthorne during the cheque presentation for a new training facility for the RFS.
Rick Colless, Mark Mulheron, Graeme Miller and Andrew Rawsthorne during the cheque presentation for a new training facility for the RFS.

Work will start in October on a new purpose built training facility for the NSW Rural Fire Service.

The new training facility for the Mid Lachlan Valley team will be built at the site of the headquarters of the Forbes SES with the help of a $43,933 grant from the NSW Government.

Parliamentary Secretary for Western NSW, Rick Colless said the project would also upgrade amenities at the SES headquarters, benefiting volunteers from the SES and the RFS.

“This new training facility and upgraded facilities will help provide a safe learning environment for volunteer emergency services personnel to develop and enhance their firefighting skills, to protect people and their property,” Mr Colless said.

RFS District Learning and Development Officer Mark Mulheron says the funding for the facilities is magnificent, allowing the volunteer firefighters to hone their skills in structural and vehicle fires.

“What it means is we can provide a facility to give our volunteers the opportunity to enhance their training capabilities,” Mr Mulheron said.

Forbes Mayor Graeme Miller says it is highly important for the region has these types of facilities are available for use, as the community will be better off with highly skilled volunteers.

Currently members of the Mid Lachlan Valley team travel to West Wyalong or Orange for practical training.

Mr Mulheron said this facility would give members of the RFS the opportunity to practice their skills in a controlled environment.

“A whole hands-on opportunity that you can’t really do in certain locations because of environmental issues,” he said. 

The new facility has been designed so that other volunteer agencies are able to train with the RFS or use it for their own training days.

Mr Mulheron said a facility like this one would help inter-agency relationships between the RFS and other organisations including Fire rescue NSW and the SES.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring everybody together and have everybody work as a team for the community of Forbes and our other areas surrounding us,” he said.