Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

35 first-responder organisations awarded grants

Thirty-five volunteer emergency services organisations supporting remote, rural and regional communities impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires are sharing $447,323 in grants for projects that will assist in their recovery and strengthen their emergency response capabilities ahead of the 2021/22 bushfire season.

Volunteer Emergency Services given Black Summer recovery boost ahead of fire season

Funded through FRRR’s Volunteer Emergency Services Fund (VESF) program, thanks to a generous private donor, grants range from $2,232 to maintain fire-crew hydration through the installation of a car fridge, to $25,000 to increase access to life saving equipment with the purchase

The VESF supports the ongoing bushfire recovery and preparedness taking place in eligible fire-affected communities across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that these grants will support rural communities and protect the volunteers who are leading the path to recovery.

“Programs like this are crucial to the long-term resilience of these communities. Providing the necessary resources and support for these volunteers will not only bolster the preparedness of these fire-affected areas but will also enable our volunteers to recover, both physically and mentally, as they continue to serve rural Australia in the safest and most effective ways possible.

“In this round, we saw a lot of requests for support in purchasing and upgrading emergency equipment. Whether it’s additional firefighting trailers, community emergency messaging systems or emergency medical equipment, these organisations will be better equipped to save lives,” says Ms Egleton.

Some of the projects funded this round include:

  • Wantagong Bushfire Brigade, NSW – Firefighting trailer and PMR Handheld Radio – $16,188 – Increase firefighting capacity with the provision of an additional tanker trailer and a handheld radio.
  • Flinders Peak Rural Fire Brigade, QLD – Flinders Peak Station Security & Access Control – $13,682 – Improve facility access and security for local fire and SES organisations by installing a new integrated security and roller door system.
  • Kangaroo Island Wildlife Network, SA – Fire Awareness Session and 4WD training – $5,580 – Build capability and equip a local wildlife organisation to operate effectively in a disaster with fire awareness and 4WD training, and new disaster response equipment.
  • Wendoree Park Rural Fire Service, VIC – Wendoree Park Rural Fire Station Generator – $19,854 -Increase emergency power supply capability with the installation of an emergency backup generator ensuring continued access to power supply during emergencies.
  • St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) Inc, Vic – Mental Health, Crisis and resilience training for volunteers deployed to bushfire events – $14,250 – Boost first responder wellbeing by delivering Mental Health, Crisis and Resilience training for volunteers deployed to bushfire events.

For more information, visit FRRR’s website – https://frrr.org.au/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/. The next, and last, round of this program is expected to open in February, but details will be confirmed in the new year.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Bumbalong Valley Progress AssociationBumbalong Community Fire Unit 2021-2022
Strengthen emergency fire response capacity and communication with the provision of smaller mobile water storage solutions, pumps, hoses and radio equipment.
Bumbalong$19,301
Gulgong DC Rural Fire Brigade Going Digital - A New Age for Gulgong DC RFB
Enhance training and communications equipment by upgrading digital equipment to enhance operations.
Gulgong$25,000
Long Flat / Ellenborough Rural Fire BrigadeKitchen Upgrade
Improve kitchen facilities at the local RFS site to provide volunteers and community members with disability access and conditions to support serving safe, healthy food during disaster activations.
Long Flat$20,503
Narara Rural Fire BrigadeRefurbishment After 2019/20 Fires
Increase brigade visibility and emergency communication by providing additional lighting towers, torches and fireground radios for use during emergency response activities.
Narara$15,572
RFS - Central Coast District Captain, Central Coast Trail Bike Unit Enclosed Trail Bike Trailer for Rapid and Efficient Deployment
Build organisational capacity with an additional trailer for transporting bikes increasing operational effectiveness.
Kariong$18,244
RFS - Blackheath Mt Victoria Rural Fire Brigade Operational & Technology Capability Enhancements
Enhance emergency response capability to provide volunteers with an appropriately appointed facility including turn out bay roller doors, air conditioning, technology upgrades and hose drying equipment.
Blackheath$19,641
RFS - Mount Fairy Rural Fire BrigadeStation Upgrade & Fit-Out
Boost operational capacity and response capability by fitting out the facilities extension including training, kitchen and laundry areas.
Mount Fairy$23,552
St John Ambulance Australia (N.S.W.)St John Ambulance Northern NSW Defibrillator Project
Increase access to life saving equipment by providing Defibrillators for northern NSW communities impacted by Black Summer bushfires.
Armidale, Tamworth, Cessnock & Port Macquarie$25,000
Towamba Rural Fire BrigadeCapital Equipment for Fire Shed
Strengthen volunteer vitality by upgrading Fire Brigade facilities to support efficient emergency response activities including attachment of the generator, lockers and training space.
Towamba$10,500
Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW Marine Rescue Bermagui Base Refurbishment
Upgrade the facilities of Marine Rescue Bermagui to improve operations for radio communications, training and power loss risk mitigation.
Bermagui$24,933
Wantagong Bushfire Brigade Fire Fighting Trailer and PMR Handheld Radio
Increase fire fighting capacity with the provision of an additional tanker trailer and a hand held radio.
Wantagong$16,188
Wendoree Park Rural Fire ServiceWendoree Park Rural Fire Station Generator
Increase emergency power supply capability with the installation of an emergency backup generator ensuring continued access to power supply during emergencies.
Wendoree Park$19,854
Bega District Volunteer Rescue Group IncorporatedBattery Operated Rescue Tools and Associated Equipment
Strengthen organisational capacity by providing battery, charger pack and charger chords for power tools used in emergency response activities.
Bega Valley$3,482
Midcoast Aviation BrigadeMidcoast Aviation Airbase Support Equipment
Increase organisational capabilities in the field and support volunteers safety from the sun with the provision of a heavy duty gazebo and all terrain pallet jack.
Taree, Forster, Tuncurry, Wingham & Old Bar$5,007
RFS - Berkeley Vale Rural Fire Brigade IncorporatedBattery Operated Rescue Tools and Associated Equipment
Enhance emergency response activities by providing hand held radio's, updated GPS units and a backpack resuscitator enhancing community safety.
Berkeley Vale & Broader Central Coast $5,822
RFS - Bredbo Rural Fire BrigadeImproving First-Aid Capability
Increase volunteer skills and knowledge and capacity to respond to local emergencies with training in first aid and CPR and by providing first aid and snake bite kits for the Bredbo Rural Fire Brigade.
Bredbo$3,860
RFS - Buxton Volunteer Fire BrigadeBreathing Apparatus Cleaning Requirements, PPE and First Aid Supplies
Strengthen the ability of volunteers to respond to emergencies by purchasing a hot water system and washing machine to wash members breathing apparatus, uniforms and personal protective equipment and providing PPE and first aid kit supplies.
Buxton$9,150
RFS - Colinton Rural Fire BrigadePurchase of an Automated Emergency Defibrillator (AED) for the Training Room, and Training to Use
Strengthen ability and skills to respond to sudden cardiac arrests in the community by purchasing an Automated Emergency Defibrillator for the Brigade training room and provide training for Brigade members and community members in its use.
Colinton$2,650
RFS - Wollondibby Fire Brigade Wollondibby Bushfire Brigade Emergency Power Supply
Ensure continuous power supply for an Emergency Power Supply for the Wollondibby Fire Shed by way of a backup Generator.
Jindabyne & Crackenback$4,525
RFS - Wyee Point Rural Fire BrigadeCommunity Awareness Notice Board and Online Training Television
Boost community emergency messaging and volunteer training capabilities with the provision of a Community Notice Board and television for the Wyee Point RFB.
Wyee Point$5,000
Rylstone Kandos & District Volunteer Search and Rescue Organisation Inc Defibrillator Upgrade
Increase community safety with the provision of defibrillators to be housed at the Rescue Complex.
Rylstone & Kandos$7,485
QUEENSLAND
Flinders Peak Rural Fire BrigadeFlinders Peak Station Security & Access Control
Improve facility access and security for local fire and SES organisations by installing a new integrated security and roller door system.
Peak Crossing$13,862
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Network Fire Awareness Session and 4WD Training
Build capability and equip a local wildlife organisation to operate effectively in a disaster with fire awareness and 4WD training, and new disaster response equipment.
Kingscote$5,580
Mawson CFS GroupThermal Imaging Camera for Community Safety
Improve firefighting equipment to enhance operational effectiveness and safety through a Thermal imaging camera that assists with thorough management of fires on site, reduces volunteer risk in smoke filled environments.
Clarendon, Happy Valley, Kangarilla & Chandlers Hill$2,525
Mount Barker SES Unit Emergency Response Equipment
Strengthen volunteer emergency response capability by providing additional trauma and emergency medical treatment kits and a lifting bridle to support patient emergency treatment and evacuation.
Mount Barker, Woodside & Brukunga$3,885
VICTORIA
CFA - Violet Town Country Fire ServiceSafe Powered Haven for the Violet Town Community
Ensure constant power supply during emergency events and mains power outages with the provision of a diesel generator ensuring access to Emergency response facilities during power outages.
Violet Town$19,592
CFA - Nagambie Country Fire ServiceCommunity Emergency Information
Enhance community emergency messaging with a LED display board to be placed in the towns main thoroughfare for year round use, particularly during emergency events.
Nagambie$13,000
St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) IncMental Health, Crisis and Resilience Training for Volunteers Deployed to Bushfire Events
Boost first responder wellbeing by delivering Mental Health, Crisis and Resilience training for volunteers deployed to bushfire events.
Wodonga, Sale, Bairnsdale & Regional Victorian Divisions$14,250
Upper Murray Innovation Foundation - Thowgla Community Recovery Committee (CRC) Thowgla Valley Fire Preparedness Project
Strengthen emergency response capacity and increase emergency activity communication by providing additional fire fighting trailers and hand held radios.
Thowgla Valley$22,928
Victoria State Emergency Service Authority - Wodonga Unit Update the Computer Hardware and Accessories at the Wodonga Unit
Increase organisational capacity with the provision of upgraded IT equipment, software and accessories.
Wodonga$19,957
Victoria State Emergency Service - Bairnsdale Unit Enhancing Response Capability
Build operational capacity through battery and charger equipment to support portability of battery powered emergency equipment.
Bairnsdale$25,000
Victoria State Emergency Service Yackandandah UnitResilient Emergency Services in Yackandandah - Phase 3
Increase consistency of power supply with the provision of a diesel generator ensuring access to back up power during emergency response periods.
Yackandandah$13,176
CFA - Killawarra Country Fire Service Cool Under Pressure
Improve volunteer safety and wellbeing with the installation of a car fridge on the fighting tanker to maintain crew hydration.
Killawarra$2,232
CFA - Ruffy Country Fire ServiceFire Truck Driver Refresher Training
Support emergency response safety with the delivery of volunteer driver training for members of the Ruffy Fire Brigade.
Ruffy$3,600
CFA- Upton Hill Country Fire ServiceIT for Upton Hill to Boost Volunteerism and Volunteer Retention
Boost organisational capacity by providing IT equipment supporting the day to operations and completion of administration functions for volunteers.
Upton Hill$2,467


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

Grants available for services supporting communities impacted by Black Summer bushfires

A generous private donation of $1 million will fund FRRR‘s new Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant Program. The Program will fund volunteer emergency services to support their recovery needs from the 2019/20 bushfires and help them prepare for future challenges.

Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant Program
Murgon SES volunteers

The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund will offer grants to local volunteer emergency services and first responder organisations in 2019/20 fire-affected regions across rural, regional, and remote Australia. Funds will help them to respond to local disaster recovery needs and address preparedness priorities ahead of the 2021/22 bushfire season.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available for projects including practical improvements and upgrades to facilities and equipment so that these services are better able to respond to future disasters. Initiatives that support the mental health and wellbeing of first responder volunteers, as well as projects that provide training and build the capacity of these services can also be funded.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that an integral part of the recovery process is preparing for future disasters and adapting to changing conditions after a disaster.

“We know that disasters, like bushfires, are not isolated events. They are increasing in frequency and severity; and it is vital for our volunteer-led emergency services groups to be equipped,” Ms Egleton said.

“Throughout the 2019/20 summer bushfires, volunteer emergency and first responder services worked tirelessly to protect and save their communities. They literally saved lives.

“These grants will support those who support the community by funding projects that will help these volunteers process and heal from the trauma of the bushfires, as well as build resilience and preparedness for future disasters.

“We look forward to assisting these vital members of impacted communities and helping to build and strengthen the emergency services they so generously give their time to be a part of,” Ms Egleton said.

The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant Program is now open. Applications close 5pm AEST 7 July 2021 with grants to be announced August 2021. For more information, visit FRRR’s website – https://frrr.org.au/funding/disaster-resilience-and-climate-solutions/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/