Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells today announced that the first group of volunteer emergency services personnel will begin training at the new Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC) in July.
"SES members will be among the first volunteers to conduct training at the world class training facility, starting from Sunday 27 July, with 12 CFA volunteer crews to get their first taste from Sunday 12 October," Mr Wells said.
The announcement follows the recent official opening of the new $109 million state-of-the-art facility in Craigieburn, which is the benchmark for emergency services training across the country, providing training for both volunteer and career personnel across the sector.
Minister Wells was on hand to witness the multi-agency training exercise during the official opening, which included career and volunteer personnel from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Country Fire Authority (CFA), Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service (SES), Ambulance Victoria and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
"It was incredible to see all our emergency services agencies working together in a training exercise that simulated a real-life emergency that could be faced on Melbourne streets," Mr Wells said.
"When Victoria's emergency services, both career and volunteer, are responding to a range of incidents across the state, we can be confident they have been provided with the best training resources in the nation.
"This magnificent training centre will embed an 'all-hazards all-agencies' approach to emergency management in Victoria."
Training at the site is already underway with MFB, CFA and SES personnel undergoing 'train the trainer' requirements for training of career and volunteer personnel on use of the various props.
This is alongside the first ever MFB and CFA joint recruit course for career firefighters, set to begin in August.
Mr Wells said the investment in this training centre highlights the Victorian Coalition Government's commitment to emergency services personnel and recognises the critical role our volunteer and career firefighters play in keeping Victorians safe.
"The Napthine Government continues to invest record levels in Victoria's fire agencies, providing more funding than any previous government," Mr Wells said.
"Since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion and the MFB with more than $1.45 billion.
"The 2014-15 CFA budget is $457 million, $58 million more than under the last Labor budget, while the 2014-15 MFB Budget is $326 million, $39 million more than under the last Labor budget."