Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Grants available for first responder organisations in places impacted by Black Summer bushfires

Porepunkah was just one of many communities that was badly affected by the 2019/20 bushfires, but a recent grant is helping ensure that the local Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigade has the resources it needs to better prepare and serve the community when the next emergency occurs.

Volunteer Emergency Services encouraged to apply for funding

Porepunkah CFA was awarded a $10,875 grant through FRRR’s Volunteer Emergency Services Fund to support volunteer training and wellbeing through IT training technology and appliance upgrades for the kitchen at the Porepunkah CFA Shed. Porepunkah was one of 19 emergency services to share in $311,049 in grants, through the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund’s first round of funding.

Renee Lee, Porepunkah CFA’s Secretary said the funding will also help the group to facilitate community outreach during non-disaster times.

“While our volunteers take pride in our role and are committed to make Porepunkah a safer and better place for the community, we cannot express how much this grant means to us. As volunteers, it means recognition for our time and sacrifices.

“In addition, the grant approval came in a timely manner as it will uplift the spirit of community as we are faced with the numerous lockdowns,” Ms Lee said.

Made possible thanks to a significant private donation, the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund provides grants to local volunteer emergency services groups and first responder organisations in eligible fire-affected communities across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

FRRR is encouraging local volunteer emergency services groups serving rural communities affected by the 2019/20 bushfires to apply now for the second round of grant funding to support their recovery needs and/or strengthen their emergency response capabilities ahead of the 2021/22 bushfire season.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to meet local agencies needs, and we want to encourage groups who may not have a large project in mind to consider making a small grant application of up to $6,000 to be better prepared with small essential equipment, i.e. Go bags that might contain torches, fire blankets and traffic wands. At least $100,000 in funding will be provided to meet such essential requests.

Danielle Griffin, FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager – Corporate, said that with this summer’s bushfire season fast approaching, first responders should feel confident in their preparedness and volunteers should feel supported, especially those in regions that are still recovering from the 2019/20 bushfires.

“Preparing for future disasters and adapting to changing conditions after a disaster are integral parts of the recovery process. In practical terms, preparedness can mean upgrades to infrastructure and equipment and providing up-to-date training, which can have a big impact on the security and safety of first responders.

“These grants can fund important projects to care for the mental health and wellbeing of volunteers that generously give their time to support and protect their communities.

“The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund is specifically designed to support the disaster recovery needs and priorities of first responder organisations at a local level, and we look forward to funding initiatives that will assist these vital community members and services,” Ms Griffin said.

The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund grant program is now open. Applications close 5pm AEDT 20 October 2021, with grants to be announced November 2021.

For more information, visit FRRR’s website – https://frrr.org.au/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/.

FRRR has awarded $311,049 in grants to volunteer emergency services organisations impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires for projects that will help them to respond to local disaster recovery needs and address preparedness priorities ahead of the 2021/22 bushfire season.

Volunteer Emergency Services Fund awards more than $300,000 in grants

Funded through the Volunteer Emergency Services Grant Program, grants range from $4500 for Audio Visual Equipment, to $25,000 for the installation of a solar power battery backup system.

Made possible thanks to a generous private donation, funded initiatives will support fire-affected local volunteer emergency services and first-responder organisations in communities across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. 

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that she was pleased to see this targeted funding going to initiatives that will build and strengthen the capacity of these vital members of impacted communities.

“We saw strong demand for equipment and infrastructure improvements through this round of applications. Providing safe and secure facilities and equipment not only allows these services to better support their communities and respond to emergencies and future disasters, but they are also important to the recovery of the volunteers, building their resilience and caring for their mental health and wellbeing.

“The mental health and wellbeing of the volunteers will also be supported through funded training and education projects. These initiatives will increase the capacity of these volunteer-run emergency services, so that they are better equipped to care for their local community as they continue to recover from the bushfires,” Ms Egleton said.

Some of the projects awarded this round include:

  • Tinonee Rural Fire Brigade, NSW – Disaster Response Go Bags for Support Vehicles – $6,713 – Improve the capacity and enhance the safety of volunteers through the provision of fire safety equipment for community evacuation notifications and emergencies.
  • South Eastern Region QLD Rural Fire Service Division, QLD – Upgrade Emergency Services Response Command Vehicle – $25,000 – Boost operational capacity of the Beaudesert RFB Group through the upgrade of the Group Command vehicle.
  • Country Fire Authority – St Arnaud CFA, VIC – Connecting Our Group – $5,000 – Support volunteer capability through the provision of a laptop computer for operations at the St Arnaud CFA.
  • Onkaparinga CFS Group, SA – Onkaparinga CFS Group Tablet Grant – $19,628 – Enhance organisational capacity through the provision of information technology equipment at the Onkaparinga CFS.
  • Surf Life Saving Lower North Coast Branch Incorporated, NSW– Provision of emergency response equipment for frontline lifesavers during bushfire emergencies – $25,000 – Improving preparedness and capability for Surf Life Saving volunteers in the Lower North Coast.

The next round of the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant program will open 24 September 2021. For more information, visit – https://frrr.org.au/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Emmaville Rural Fire BrigadeLockers for Firefighters at Emmaville RFS Shed
Enhance emergency response times through the provision of volunteer lockers at the Emmaville Rural Fire Brigade.
Emmaville$6,200
Far South Coast Branch Surf Life Saving Association of Australia IncDisaster Preparedness for Volunteer Lifesavers and the Community
Increase organisational capacity through the provision of Bushfire Response Kits for South Coast Surf Life Saving clubs.
Bermagui$23,411
Merriwa and District Rescue Squad IncIt's a Long Way to the Top, if You've Tripped and had a Fall!
Increase organisational capacity through the provision of vertical rescue equipment for the Merriwa and Districts Rescue Squad.
Merriwa$22,000
Liverpool Ranges RFS
NSW Rural Fire Service
Group 1 Liverpool Range
Strengthen local volunteer emergency groups and their activities through facility and equipment upgrades for the Cassilis RFS.
Merriwa$16,587
Pambula Beach Surf Life Saving Club IncExpansion of Pambula Surf Life Saving Club Patrol and Emergency Search and Rescue Capabilities
Increase organisation capacity with an additional IRB Zodiac to ensure timely volunteer emergency response.
Pambula$24,979
Surf Life Saving Lower North Coast Branch IncorporatedProvision of Emergency Response Equipment for Frontline Lifesavers During Bushfire Emergencies
Improve volunteer emergency response capability wiith items including a defibrillator and portable radios.
Forster$25,000
Tarana Volunteer Bushfire BrigadeInstall Solar Power Battery Backup System
Boost organisational capacity through the provision of a solar power system including backup battery.
Tarana$25,000
Tinonee Rural Fire BrigadeDisaster Response Go Bags for Support Vehicles
Improve the capacity and enhance the safety of volunteers through the provision of fire safety equipment for community evacuation notifications and emergencies.
Tinonee$6,713
QUEENSLAND
Beaudesert Rural Fire Brigade Group
South Eastern Region QLD Rural Fire Service Division
Upgrade Emergency Services Response Command Vehicle
Boost operational capacity of the Beaudesert RFB Group through the upgrade of the Group Command vehicle.
Scenic Rim Regional Council Area$25,000
Gatton State Emergency Service Social Club IncCapability Enhancement Program
Boost organisational capacity through the replacement of electric tool, batteries and radio holsters at the Gatton SES.
Gatton$10,178
Maroochydore State Emergency Service Support Association IncorporatedAudio Visual Equipment for Volunteer Training
Boost capacity of the Maroochydore SES with the provision of technology equipment to enhance the training of volunteers.
Maroochydore$4,500
Woodhill Rural Fire BrigadeFirefighting ATV
Increase community safety with the provision of an off road ATV and emergency response trailer for Woodhill Rural Fire Brigade.
Kooralbyn$25,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Onkaparinga CFS GroupOnkaparinga CFS Group Tablet Grant
Enhance organisation capacity through the provision of information technology equipment at the Onkaparinga CFS.
Lobethal$19,628
VICTORIA
Buffalo River CFA
Country Fire Authority - Headoffice
Buffalo River Scrolling Electronic LED Notice Board
Increase community awareness by installing a scrolling notice board for public safety announcements and information sharing at the Buffalo River CFA shed.
Myrtleford$12,400
Porepunkah CFA
Country Fire Authority - Headoffice
IT Training Equipment and Kitchen Appliances
Support volunteer training and wellbeing with technology and appliance upgrades at the Porepunkah CFA Shed.
Porepunkah$10,875
St Arnaud CFA
Country Fire Authority - Headoffice
Connecting Our Group
Support volunteer vitality through the provision of upgraded information technology equipment at the St Arnaud CFA.
St Arnaud$5,000
Corryong Ambulance and Walma Ambulance
Ambulance Victoria
Corryong Ambulance Community Officer and Walwa Community Emergency Response Team Uplift
Support organisational capacity of the organisation through the provision of training and operation equipment.
Corryong$17,928
Mallacoota SES
Victoria State Emergency Service Authority
Mallacoota-Genoa Community Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Project
Enhance community safety through the provision of portable fire fighting equipment and PPE for emergency volunteers in the Genoa community.
Genoa$12,650
Tallangatta SES
Victoria State Emergency Service Authority
Turn Out Bay Upgrade
Boost community safety through turn out bay upgrades at the Tallangatta SES.
Tallangatta$18,000