Visitors tour building site of new Wodonga Fire Station

PLANNED PROGRESS: Southern Cross Developers director John Tyrrell, Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie and Wodonga Fire Station officer in charge Ashley Mills look over the ongoing construction. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
PLANNED PROGRESS: Southern Cross Developers director John Tyrrell, Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie and Wodonga Fire Station officer in charge Ashley Mills look over the ongoing construction. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Wodonga firefighters hope to be installed in their new $7.8 million station during the brigade’s 125th year and before the next danger season begins.

Mayor Anna Speedie, emergency services personnel and community members on Thursday toured the Thomas Mitchell Drive building site that will become a firefighting hub.

Wodonga station officer in charge Ashley Mills told the visitors construction was 30 per cent complete overall, with elements like ground floor slabs and retaining walls well advanced.

At this stage the station’s due to be finished mid-September, with another month or so then needed for staff to move in and make the building operational.

The two-storey complex, being built by Southern Cross Developers, will include 10 dormitories, kitchen facilities, a large administration area and five big engine bays.

It replaces the existing station in Smythe Street that opened in 1976.

Mr Mills said the project marked a new chapter in how the Country Fire Authority operated in this region.

“We’ve just got a facility that we can grow into instead of one that we continually have to build on,” he said.

“We’re set up very well to be able to not only make our way into the CBD and address any emergency issues into the CBD but as well punch out into our residential areas.

“For us to be able to respond into the Baranduda and Leneva growth areas is pretty important.”

The brigade was about to embark on emergency medical response, providing a basic life support until ambulances arrive, and had completed further rescue training in conjunction with Wangaratta.

A new Wodonga pumper was “very close” while a submission had been lodged for an aerial pumper.

“It isn’t an aircraft,” Mr Mills said.

“It’s a very long truck that can actually reach up with an arm and provide rescue capability and push water into multi-storey buildings.”

Cr Speedie said the new station would help the CFA continue its amazing work.

“This is a brilliant investment,” she said.

“We are so fortunate that we have a terrific team and we’re now going to have a state of the art facility to take care of not only our community of Wodonga but also that wider region.”