Rural fire brigade outgrows facilities

WITH its current building dilapidated and bursting at the seams, the Albion Park Rural Fire Brigade has applied to build a new home.

The Illawarra Rural Fire Service has lodged a development application with Shellharbour City Council to demolish its premises in Tongarra Road and build a new station on the same site.

Zone manager Superintendent Richard Cotterill said the brigade had outgrown the old facility.

"The old Albion Park station is fairly dilapidated . . . and it's limiting what we can provide the brigade," he said.

"We have in excess of 50 members at the moment, but the amenities aren't adequate.

"There's a single male toilet, a single female toilet and no showers, and it has only small kitchen and training areas, so we'll be improving those."

The design will also include larger bays to accommodate the new standard fire trucks, which are bigger.

"Before, the trucks were ones we built ourselves, but the new trucks will be better built and better prepared," Superintendent Cotterill said.

"We've already taken delivery for some of our stations and we'd be looking at replacing the trucks at Albion Park in the next two to four years."

He said the station had served the brigade well for 50 years, but they had to look to the future.

"With further development, our brigade could expect to see more houses backing onto the bush . . . and we want to ensure we're not playing catch-up," he said.

The project is unfunded because a development application must be approved first.

"We can't seek funding unless we have a project - it's in the very early stages at the moment," Superintendent Cotterill said.

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