Wodonga and Wangaratta CFA firefighters respond quickly to alarms

Firefighters in Wodonga and Wangaratta are some of the most reliable at getting to the scene of an emergency within their eight-minute response target.

Data released by the CFA has revealed Wodonga crews responded to 214 emergency calls during 2016-17 and reached the location under the target 95 per cent of the time.

Wangaratta crews reached 97 per cent of their 160 emergency calls on time.

The numbers put the brigades among the top performers in Victoria, alongside other integrated country brigades like Bendigo and Shepparton.

But figures showed smaller North East volunteer brigades sometimes took longer to respond.

Beechworth fire brigade responded to two of its eight calls during 2016-17 within eight minutes, Myrtleford was on time for two of its six calls, Benalla reached 24 of its 47 on time, and Mount Hotham just one of its five.

Mount Buller fire brigade had only two callouts, but made both within eight minutes.

The CFA warned only a “limited subset” of data from some brigades could be looked at in the timeframe and it was only a measure of when the first truck arrived.

CFA chief officer Steve Warrington released the figures after they were requested by the Parliamentary inquiry into the fire services legislation and said it was “clear there are some limitations”.

“Our people do a tremendous job of keeping Victorians safe, but these figures do show where we meet service delivery standards and where we need to improve,” he said.

“Let me be clear, the response time data does underscore where greater flexibility in our sector would provide a capacity to improve service delivery.”

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