TAMWORTH will be serviced by a 24-hour fire station before the end of the year.
In a landmark announcement on Thursday, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and NSW Fire and Rescue Assistant Commissioner Jim Hamilton, announced the city would move to a full-time 24-hour, seven-day roster at the Tamworth Fire Station.
The move will see 10 more permanent firefighter positions created in the city, in addition to the existing contingent of ten permanent firefighters and ongoing retained firefighter support.
Tamworth is the last major regional centre to possess a 24-hour station, with Acting Commissioner Hamilton and Mr Anderson confirming the area’s significant growth required the service.
Mr Anderson said the move would mean Tamworth Fire Station would need to be upgraded to cater for the additional staff.
“It will mean ten new jobs, coming to Tamworth,” Mr Anderson said.
“That will mean ten new families coming to our region so our region continues to grow.
“It will also mean we will need to upgrade the fire station here in Carthage St to be able to manage the staff who will stay over here 24-hours per day.”
Among the initial upgrades will be an amenities block at the back of the station, but Acting Commissioner Hamilton said Fire and Rescue NSW were looking at a “longer term strategy” for the area.
He said the initial upgrades were expected to cost around $200,000.
“The additional staff will mean that the after hours (service) of a night time is permanent aswell now,” he said.
“Permanent firefighters are able to get out of the station quicker than retained firefighters who are on call. Those minutes can make a difference between the saving of life and the saving of property.
“The retained firefighters do a sensational job and they will still be an integral part and the backbone of service delivery in Tamworth.
“By providing the extra staff around the clock it makes it a better service delivery for the community of Tamworth.”