FRRR helps create a Community Hub in Meering West

Community stories: 7 April 2015

Meering West is a small farming town that is no stranger to hard times. Despite 10 years of drought and isolation by crop destroying floods in 2011, the CFA Meering West Rural Fire Brigade has remained at the centre of this northern Victorian community.

Evolving from a tin shed housing a single fire truck to an impressive state of the art facility in 2013, the Meering West fire station is the only public building in the community and is an essential part of town life.

All members of the Meering West community are CFA volunteers, with members of their “strike team” assisting in the devastating Victorian fires, including the 2009 Black Saturday Bush fires and Kilmore fires.

Mobile black spot inhibits responsiveness

Despite being a pivotal location for the community, the Meering West Fire station remains in a “black spot” with tremendously poor phone coverage. This lack of coverage has created an inconvenience to those using the facility and serious community safety issues.

The CFA Meering West Rural Fire Brigade has been awarded an FRRR Small Grants for Rural Communities (SGRC) grant of $973 to install a state-of-the-art Telstra Smart Antenna and Yagi Antenna.

This project will enable the CFA Meering West Rural Fire Brigade to more efficiently manage emergency situations and ensure the safety of the 32 volunteer firemen.

The installation will also assist the entire Meering West district, with mobile and internet use becoming an essential part of rural life. At the completion of this project, the CFA Meering West Rural Fire Brigade aims to bring together the community by running training and information days, creating a community hub.