UNVEILING: QFES commissioner Katarina Carroll and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford (both centre) with the volunteers at the official opening of the joint emergency services facility in Wallumbilla on Saturday.
UNVEILING: QFES commissioner Katarina Carroll and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford (both centre) with the volunteers at the official opening of the joint emergency services facility in Wallumbilla on Saturday. Marguerite Cuddihy

Emergency facility opens doors

EMERGENCY service workers in Wallumbilla will be better equipped to serve the southwest following the opening of a new $473,000 joint emergency services facility.

The facility will house staff and volunteers from the Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford officially opened the facility alongside Maranoa Mayor Tyson Golder and QFES commissioner Katarina Carroll.

Mr Crawford spent many of his formative years as a paramedic and rural fire brigade officer.

"This is what I enjoy most,” he said.

"When you look at the diversity of any emergency service, the strength of that service is when you come out to the bush.”

The new facility is within the Roma Rural Fire Service Area, which consists of 154brigades and more than 2600 volunteers.

The Wallumbilla SES group has 22 active volunteers who last year dedicated 707 hours to their community.

"This building will save lives,” Mr Crawford said.

"It could be a house fire, it could be a car accident or a flood but during the course of its life it will save lives.

"And if it saves just one life somewhere over the next 40 years, then it will be worth every single cent and every drop of sweat that went into building it,” he said.

Mr Crawford said he was astounded by the number of people who attended the opening of the facility in Wallumbilla on Saturday morning.

"A couple of hundred people were here, so to see that number - the importance of this facility in this community speaks for itself,” he said.

Ms Carroll said the Wallumbilla community spirit was inspiring as manyresidents and organisations contributed to the project.

"Maranoa Regional Council, local businesses and community groups donated money, time, goods and supplies to this facility,” she said.

"It raises the level of response, effectiveness and efficiency but mostly it's about the community.

"While it will house all of their equipment and trucks, it's about the feeling of morale and helping each other and having a community feel about it,” MsCarroll said.

"It will help RFS and SES to perform their crucial roles in supporting and protecting the community for many years to come.”

The day was also a celebration of 16 QFES staff and volunteers who received clasps, medals and plaques for their service.

"At QFES, we pride ourselves on upholding the values of integrity, loyalty, professionalism and diligent service and the recipients have certainly demonstrated these values in their work,” Ms Carroll said.

Check out the photos from the opening below:


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