Breathing new life into Wodonga West brigade

WODONGA West’s fire brigade is responding to more than 250 jobs each year, but it still has the same two breathing kits from 2003 when crews reacted to only 55 calls.

To remedy that situation, the CFA unit has launched a $10,000 fund-raising campaign to buy new breathing gear which will allow two more firefighters to tackle blazes where respiratory gear is needed.

The drive began with the ANZ Bank chipping in $1000.

Wodonga West first lieutenant Ross Coyle said there was a clear need for another kit with callouts having gone from 55 in 2003 to 275 in the 2012-13 financial year.

“We use breathing apparatus at accidents, car fires, business fires, really any incident where air can’t sustain life,” Mr Coyle said.

“It is something we have a necessity to use on a regular basis.

“Our members would be putting on breathing apparatus at least once a week.”

Mr Coyle said having the new gear would result in two out of the brigade’s three vehicles being fully equipped.

Businesses would be approached for funds and he hoped the kits could be bought in the first half of next year.

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