Whittlesea Fire Brigade is one of 116 fire stations receiving breathing apparatus (BA) that will provide protection to firefighters whilst out on the job.

Community donations from the 2019/20 bushfires funded more than 200 breathing apparatus sets to CFA brigades across Victoria.

Whittlesea Fire Brigade fourth lieutenant Rudi Carli said the additional breathing apparatus would significantly help.

“The extra BA will mean we can have more firefighters attacking the fire at incidents where BA is required and would otherwise have to wait for another appliance to arrive with more BA sets saving us valuable time,” Mr Carli said.

The CFA and Brigades Donations Trust has allocated $2.25 million to purchase the equipment with some brigades choosing to co-fund the project, bringing the overall cost to $2.75 million.

CFA Chief officer Jason Heffernan said the extra funding from brigades allowed for more BA sets to be fitted.

“The additional funding support from brigades allowed us to extend the scope from 200 BA sets to a total of 234 BA sets and 468 BA cylinders,” Mr Heffernan said.

“At the end of the rollout, 514 brigades will have BA with 43 of those brigades receiving the capability for the first time.

“This is critically important for their wellbeing and safety and I thank the community for their generosity.”

Mr Carli said Whittlesea Fire Brigade was also grateful for the effort from the community.

“Whittlesea Fire Brigade would like to thank the community for their support in helping to keep us safe on the fireground,” he said.

The roll-out of the new BA sets is expected to be completed in the next couple of months.

The 43 brigades receiving the equipment for the first time have already begun training and the installation into the trucks.

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