By Derek Schlennstedt
After years of attending incidents in a 15-year-old storm truck that offered only the bare essentials in safety, Emerald SES finally received a Christmas gift from Santa that will help improve their capacity to assist the community in times of need.
That Christmas gift came in the shiny new form of a Mercedes Benz storm truck dubbed ‘Emerald storm 1’ which will replace the previous and out-dated model.
Officially one of the hardest-working SES teams in Victoria, the Emerald unit ranked first in the state in 2016 for attending call-outs for assistance.
Emerald SES Controller, Ben Owen said the new truck would help immensely in their ability to respond to call-outs and offered a variety of modifications which would help in getting to incidents and providing support.
“Being a truck that is brand new and not 15-years-old it has a lot of better technology and safety features, which we never had on our previous truck,” Mr Owen said.
“It comes with ABS brakes, anti-skid, all the modern safety features including airbags … we now have an on-board power system which can help to set up scene lighting and within a minute of getting to an incident we can light up the entire area.”
“It’s definitely a faster responding vehicle so in those times of need we can be there.”
Previously the unit was attending scenes in a 15-year-old truck that had very little in the way of safety features.
The AWD Mercedes Sprinter was partially funded by the State Labor Government who provided $100,000; though Emerald SES unit has also spent several years funding the other $100,000 through community fundraising events.
“We’ve been raising money for three or four years now,” Mr Owen said.
Mr Owen thanked the tremendous support of the community without which it would have been impossible to obtain the truck.
“The community support has been tremendous and we would all like to thank those people along the line who have bought a snag, or left a donation note – it all comes back to getting this equipment on the road so we can assist our community when needed.”