Early this year the Quarry Road Fire Shed was inspected by an independent Structural Engineer to see if it was possible build an extension on the side for the Emergency Services Communication Vehicle.
The Engineer advised the Shire the shed was not built to the engineering plans that were approved by the Shire and should not be occupied. The Shire requested the brigade to make alternative arrangements for their meetings and training and had the Engineer complete a report on the structure of the shed to determine if any alterations could be made to meet Australian Building Standards. At the request of the brigade, a second opinion was sought with the second Engineer reaching the same conclusion.
The Shire is bound to advise its insurers of such findings and the insurers confirmed the building could not be used.
Shire staff have been liaising with DFES and the brigade and are exploring the option of rebuilding the shed at no cost to the brigade. In the short term it is vitally important for the brigade to hold training and social events in addition to the safe and secure storage of its equipment so shire staff are investigating available options that will provide a temporary space for this to occur.
The Brigade has not been locked out of the shed. Their trucks and equipment are still there and can be accessed when needed and we continue to work with the brigade to finds a solution to this problem. We have asked them to not use the shed for meetings or hold training sessions there while we seek a resolution, as the building cannot be insured and the Shire cannot accept liability for people occupying an uninsured building. We recognise the dedication and hard work the brigade members have given to their brigade and the Quarry Road shed. We understand that this is not an ideal outcome for the members however we have a responsibility that we must abide by and we will be doing everything we can to assist the brigade in both the short and long term.
Quarry Road Fire Brigade Captain Ron Chambers said, "We as the Quarry Road Volunteer Fire Brigade are very disappointed in the events surrounding our fire shed. Some members have made huge donations and many of the members spent a lot of time raising funds, applying for grants and working to get to the point where we have a shed.
"I am aware of the obligations that the shire has to deal with and that has forced them to make the decisions that they have, I hope we can continue work with them to remedy the situation quickly."