New home opens for VICSES Chiltern Unit volunteers

New home opens for VICSES Chiltern Unit volunteers

06/08/2022, 1:25 PM

A brand new home for the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) Chiltern Unit was officially unveiled today, at its new location of 38 Anderson Street, Chiltern.

Responding to over 120 requests for assistance in the last financial year (2021/22), the new facility will better support its volunteers to train and prepare for emergencies, and ensure they can strengthen their response capabilities for the Chiltern and surrounding area.  

Incorporating some environmentally sustainable design principles, the new local headquarters will enable the Chiltern Unit to continue to respond effectively to rescues, floods and storms as well as serve the local community through assisting Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and the fire services.

Prior to this new facility, the unit previously occupied a site located at the corner of Crawford and Howes Street, at the rear of the historic former Shire Council Building. This aging building required extensive upgrades to ensure the unit could adequately undertake training, store equipment, and run operations.

To help resolve the issues at the previous facility, Indigo Shire Council allocated land for a new site on Anderson Street, Chiltern. A fantastic example of local council working both collaboratively and cooperatively with VICSES, to ensure a site suitable for local VICSES volunteers and the important work they do.

The new facility includes comprehensively designed layouts, quality finishes, materials, and technology to suit the current needs of VICSES operations. The new 375 square metre steel framed structure has been purpose built to accommodate:

  • Three motor bays – including two drive through bays (18.0 x 12.5 metres)
  • Training/Operations Room (7.3  x 9.2 metres)
  • Turn Out Room (3.7 x 3.8 metres)
  • Dedicated communications room and unit office rooms
  • Laundry and change amenity facilities.

The new fit-for-purpose facility will reflect VICSES' commitment and dedication to the local community and support the retention and recruitment of volunteers.

A new local headquarters for the VICSES Wangaratta Unit was also opened in 2021.

Quotes attributable to VICSES CEO, Stephen Griffin:

“The new and upgraded Chiltern Unit will allow our fabulous volunteers to continue their important work in protecting the community and assisting in times of emergency.

“Our VICSES volunteers are extremely dedicated, and I am proud to open this fantastic new facility today, which is so well deserved by members and the community alike.”

“Where we have seen investment in our facilities, we’ve seen a growth in volunteer numbers so it’s a great result here in Chiltern”