Bowlers chip in for SES
THE Ballina SES Unit is hopeful of a terrific Christmas present, though it probably will come a little late.
Local Unit Controller for the Ballina SES, Gerry Burnage, last week announced that the volunteers are hopeful they will receive their new truck just after Christmas.
He made the announcement during the handover of a cheque for $5002 from the Ballina Women's Bowling Club, with the board of the Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club chipping in half.
The appeal to raise the $160,000 for a new primary rescue vehicle which will be used for road-crash rescues was launched about a year ago.
Mr Burnage said the community support has been fantastic over the past 12 months.
He said the unit now has $85,000 in the bank for the new truck, and there are large pledges which are still being finalised which will make up the balance.
But the unit has enough money to have the plans for the truck's custom-built body drawn up and to order the vehicle.
Mr Burnage said it was getting difficult to find parts for the unit's current primary rescue truck, a 1984-model Ford Cargo truck bought second-hand off the Army.
And he said the body of the current vehicle was built before much of the high-tech rescue equipment the unit now uses was even invented, making ease of access difficult.
He said the new truck, with its custom-build body designed with input from the SES volunteers, would mean better vehicle reliability and quicker access to equipment when volunteers are working at a road-crash rescue. The Ballina road-crash rescue team is one of the busiest in the State.
And Mr Burnage said to the gathering of women bowlers that he would be pleased if the truck never had to leave the shed, meaning there hadn't been any crashes on the highway around Ballina.
He said there weren't any crashes on the highway over the long weekend, and he put that down to the Driver Reviver station the unit runs on Kerr Street. Drivers are encouraged to stop and have a free cuppa or cool drink as part of the 'Stop Revive Survive' campaign.
He said that in the past 23 years the Driver Reviver stations had been operating over long weekends, there hadn't been a crash on the highway in Ballina Shire.
Members of the Ballina Women's Bowling Club volunteered their time to staff the Driver Reviver station over the October long weekend.