Western Power has partnered with the peak body for WA’s 26,000 volunteer bush fire brigade members again in 2019 to provide small grants to brigades for much-needed equipment and resources.

Under the agreement, Western Power has generously provided $50,000 to fund equipment and resources for a minimum of 10 brigades located within the organisation’s service area. The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) has agreed to donate the required promotion, administration and governance.

AVBFB President Dave Gossage said Western Power had been a strong and valued supporter of volunteer bush fire brigades for many years and this small grant funding project is just one of the ways it helps.

“From a local bush fire volunteer’s perspective, one of the most important things we need – after water of course – is a safe and reliable electricity network backed by experts we can trust,” Mr Gossage said.

“Like much of the work our amazing volunteers do ‘behind the scenes’, most people never really think about the effort that goes into making their kettle boil and TV shine.”

“But bush fire volunteers are acutely aware of the value of what Western Power delivers to our community and the army of skilled people it takes to manage and respond to the risks they constantly face.”

“Most people would acknowledge the sizeable challenge of being responsible for more than 64,000 km of distribution lines strung between 750,000 poles – more than 80% of which are made of wood.”

“But many don’t know the critical role Western Power plays before, during and after major emergencies.”

“From the pumps that ensure water tanks are filled before periods of high-risk weather to the increasingly complex communications systems our families and emergency services volunteers rely on to respond quickly and safely to storms and bushfires, having a reliable electricity supply is critical to our work.”

“When walls of fire are marching toward a small town, Western Power has our backs with critical advice and actions regarding the otherwise deadly poles and wires that are inevitably damaged by the inferno.”

“And when the flames and TV cameras are all gone, the local community and their volunteer bush fire brigades often depend on a team of highly skilled Western Power staff who work 24/7 to make the area safe and re-energise the local grid to enable the fastest and least traumatic recovery operation to begin.”

“Like the 26,000 women and men of the WA Volunteer Bush Fire Service, Western Power is constantly working quietly in the background to ensure our community is safe and able to enjoy our great way of life.”

“On behalf of the brigades that will receive funding from this year’s small grants program and the rest of our community that benefits in so many other ways, the AVBFB thanks Western Power for its support.”

To access the application form, please visit https://bushfire.org.au/western-power/

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