Beechworth, Tallangatta fire brigades open their new stations

IT’S out with the old and in with the new for the Beechworth and Tall-angatta CFA brigades as both towns unveiled their new fire stations at the weekend.

And for Tallangatta folk, it was a double housewarming party with the SES moving in right next door, into a shared CFA/SES state-of-the-art facility.

It’s one of the first such units in Victoria, as emergency services right across the state are starting to work together more.

Benambra MP Bill Tilley attended both openings, calling the CFA and SES “the state’s defence force”.

“They are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week — it’s a real commitment to the community,” he said.

Both buildings were made possible through state government funding.

The $1.65 million Beechworth station in Victoria Street replaces the old Camp Street building, which served the community for more than a century.

The new site provides more room for training, meetings and a local command facility, as well as the safer movement of trucks and cars with drive-through bays.

It will house a light pumper, heavy tanker, brigade-owned light tanker and a field control vehicle.

Meanwhile, there was an air of nostalgia at the Tallangatta opening, well-attended by many residents pleased to see the two essential emergency services moving into newer, grander digs in Wagara Road.

Speakers from CFA and SES spoke of how both services had long outgrown their homes.

Tallangatta SES’ Bruce Butler said the crew had pushed for a new site since 2006 and got the ball rolling with fund-raising, with the town’s annual 1950s festival playing a large role.

The unit’s controller Jean Blackwell was still pinching herself that they had finally moved into their new $1.67 million building, and hoped it would allow them to recruit more members.