The State’s emergency rescue volunteers will be even better equipped to help keep the community safe, with new funding for vehicles, equipment and training under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant announced the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) would receive $18.8 million in additional funding over four years while visiting Wagga Wagga today – funding which has only been made possible because of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s strong financial management.

“The VRA are a dedicated group of volunteers who provide lifesaving services at road crashes, land searches, vertical rescues and even ski-related incidents,” Mr Grant said.

“These specialist rescue operators work from more than 58 locations across NSW, and under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government they will be able to upgrade and improve their capabilities with the support and funding they need.”

Mr Grant said the funding will deliver 30 new rescue vehicles, including 18 medium rescue trucks and 12 quick response trucks, for regional NSW, and provide standardised equipment for vertical, swift water and general land rescue, as well as communications and training. “This will mean new vehicles across a number of areas, including Brunswick Heads, Bega, Leeton, Narrabri, Wagga Wagga and the Tweed,” Mr Grant said.

“These volunteers often perform rescues under very challenging conditions, so we want to do everything we can to ensure they’re as safe as possible.” NSW Nationals candidate for Wagga Wagga Mackenna Powell welcomed the announcement.

“The VRA play such an important role in Wagga Wagga and beyond, so this extra support for the many dedicated volunteers means more support for our community in times of trouble too,” Ms Powell said. NSW VRA Commissioner Mark Gibson welcomed the Government’s commitment to throw their weight behind the organisation and its talented volunteers.

“This year marks fifty years since the VRA was established, and while our volunteers are the absolute backbone of our operation, we couldn’t continue without funding and support, so the NSW Government’s pledge is crucial to our ongoing work,” Mr Gibson said.

“Our incredible volunteers carry out thousands of rescues each year, from bushland areas to alpine regions and everywhere in between – this support will only strengthen those efforts.”