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    Chris, Clayton, Josie and Deacon Pallot from Jung Fire Brigade.

Money for volunteers

This year’s round of Victorian Emergency Services Equipment Program, VESEP, grants has opened, giving volunteer groups the opportunity to purchase equipment and vehicles and fund building refurbishments and upgrades. 

VESEP gives brigades two dollars, up to $150,000, for every dollar raised by a brigade or group. 

Jung Fire Brigade captain Chris Pallot has worked hard to secure VESEP-funded equipment, including a Nissan Patrol ultralight in 2015, a tyre inflation system for its medium tanker in 2020, and a side-by-side vehicle in 2024.

“We’re fortunate when it comes to raising money,” Mr Pallot said. 

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“There are a couple of large companies in our response area, which we protect. I emailed them explaining what equipment we needed, and two emails raised $5000 for the brigade. 

“We also sold a lot of chocolates, collected old car and truck batteries for recycling, and have raffled a trailer load of firewood at a local market. 

“We’ve done all sorts of things to raise money.

“It’s better to have modern equipment that can get the job done more quickly and safely.”

Other fire brigades across the area who benefited from the 2023-24 round of grants included Nhill, $65,334; Beulah, $170,000; Balmoral, $70,000 for vehicles and appliances; Green Lake, $1300, and District 17 Headquarters, $19,000 for operational equipment; and Brimpaen, $75,000 for minor facility improvements. 

Emergency Services Minister Jaclyn Symes said the grants had been available for more than 20 years, with $123 million invested in the program since 2015.

“Victoria’s emergency service volunteers go above and beyond to protect the community during an emergency,” she said.

“These grants are all about helping ensure they have the latest equipment to do what they do best – protect communities and save lives. 

“I encourage all eligible groups to apply.”

This year’s VESEP applications close on June 14. 

– Bronwyn Hastings

The entire April 24, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire April, 24, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!