Albany SES to get new $3 million emergency headquarters
Mercer Road will be home to Albany’s new $3 million state-of-the-art State Emergency Service headquarters, set to be operational by mid 2022.
More than 55 Albany SES volunteers and a 10-vehicle fleet will move from their current base on Sanford Road to the new site, which was announced by the State Government on Tuesday.
The building will be fitted with the technology needed to operate as a level-three incident control centre, to be used as a base for Great Southern emergency services to co-ordinate large-scale emergencies such as bushfires.
The new facility will have a larger response building, administration building, training areas and a six-bay garage.
Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan, who met with SES volunteers on Tuesday, said funding for a modern SES base in Albany was “well overdue”.
“A new, state-of-the-art headquarters will give volunteers the capacity and resources they need to better serve this growing region and conduct co-ordinated operations with other local emergency services,” he said.
The project is set to go to tender in the coming months, with the facility scheduled for completion by July 2022.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm thanked local SES volunteers for their patience.
“This new facility will put them in a fantastic place in terms of the fit-for-purpose nature of the facility, and it will only enhance their ability to provide their service to the community, and it should also assist them with attracting more members,” he said.
The Albany SES unit responded to 20 incidents last year, including search operations and severe storms.
Members have been operating out of Sanford Road since the early 1980s, but with an expanding fleet of incident-control vehicles and volunteers, the service has outgrown the tired premises.
The new site will have better road access, allowing crews to bypass the troublesome Sanford and North roads intersection.
Albany SES acting local manager Robert Boyes said the new facility had space to train volunteers from across the region.
“We have been looking forward with some anticipation to getting into something that is fit for purpose,” he said. Mr Boyes said recruiting new members was an “ongoing struggle” but now was a great time for new volunteers to step forward.
“We are currently running at about 57 volunteers, and ideally for the demographic in Albany we should have 80-plus, and that has been what we have been working towards,” he said.
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