By Luke Voogt
Lara firefighters have begun training to use a new ultra light tanker that arrived at their local brigade in February thanks to the “amazing” generosity of locals.
“It was a brilliant effort from the Lara community,” fundraising committee secretary Gary Bascomb said.
“I think we were overwhelmed by the generosity of locals.”
Chemring, RAPP Australia, Lara District Community Bank and Bisinella Developments donated the bulk of the $148,000 for the tanker.
Other local businesses, groups and individuals chipped in, together raising the total amount in just over four months.
“You could see the money flowing in from piggy banks and coin jars from what was deposited into the bank account,” Mr Bascomb said.
“People gave what they could. We expected the fundraising to take up to two years, so to fundraise and have the vehicle delivered in 12 months, particularly during COVID-19, is an amazing feat.”
Lara Fire Brigade raised the funds in response to a risk analysis that found a need for a manoeuvrable vehicle to fight blazes in areas not accessible to larger tankers.
The brigade hosted an afternoon tea last Sunday to celebrate the tanker arriving and thank the Lara community for its support.
Lara CFA firefighters are currently undergoing training to drive and use the light tanker, which Mr Bascomb expected to conclude in coming weeks.
Once all brigade members have completed the training, the tanker will be available for use, he explained.