December 23, 2015

EnergyAustralia's Yallourn Power Station employees and contractors have donated $7300 to three CFA brigades in the Latrobe Valley, helping them prepare for the upcoming fire season.

The donation was generated from the power station's recent major outage, during which employees and contractors received incentives for meeting agreed safety milestones.

The group nominated the brigades as beneficiaries of the funding because of their dedication to keeping assets like Yallourn and the broader community safe, especially during high-risk fire periods like summer.

Moe, Newborough and Yallourn North brigades will each accept $2400 funding at a presentation tomorrow [Tuesday, December 22] at the Yallourn North Fire Brigade.

Moe and Newborough will use the funding to update equipment including the installation of LED lighting on fire trucks and to purchase new tools, while Yallourn North will put its funds towards buying a specialised vehicle to benefit all emergency services in the Valley.

EnergyAustralia's Head of Yallourn Mark Pearson said the CFA was a vital partner for the power station and coal mine, in managing and minimising fire risk.

"We regularly work with the CFA and our own on-site emergency response team to ensure we're fully prepared with the right resources on hand if and when a fire breaks out in any part of the 5595-hectare site," Mr Pearson said.

"The safety of our employees, contractors and the broader Latrobe Valley community is paramount so, as part of our Fire Management Plan, we have measures in place including a fully-equipped fire station occupied around the clock, fire prevention activities including covering exposed coal on the perimeter with clay and/or sand and regular vegetation slashing.

"Through the efforts of the outage workforce we have been able to contribute, in a small way, to the CFA for their great work both at Yallourn and in the broader community."

Yallourn North Fire Brigade Captain Mark King welcomed the funding boost, saying it would go towards purchasing a specialised vehicle to house vital health monitoring and rehabilitation equipment to treat conditions including heat stress.

"This equipment is available for all emergency service personnel working on a fire front and having it all in one purpose-built vehicle will mean we can share this equipment wherever it's needed, as quickly as possible," Mr King said.

"EnergyAustralia and its contractors have shown their commitment to fire safety by assisting us and our fellow brigades in the Latrobe Valley in preparing for fire season."

Other recipients of the funding include Baringa Special School, Latrobe Regional Hospital and Moe Youth Gym.

Fire preparation work at Yallourn:

  • The power station and coal mine has 15 water trucks on site over summer.
  • The trucks have access to 12,000 mega litres of water stored at Yallourn, which comes from the power station's cooling systems.
  • Yallourn has installed a fire service pumping system in 2014 with two diesel stand-by pumps, which can be manually started as a back-up.
  • The operator has also refurbished its mine fire response trailer complete with carbon monoxide monitors, an eye wash station, nozzles and hoses.
  • Yallourn bought five portable spray units, meaning it now has 20 on hand to reach any part of the large site.
  • The operator has spent an extra $500,000 upgrading its fixed fire management systems, alongside normal maintenance spend to these facilities.