The ongoing issue of the future of Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade (RVBF) was brought to light again during the Armadale Council Meeting on Monday, September 13.
Members of the brigade stood up to passionately provide their perspective on whether the management of the brigade should be handed fully to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) or remain under the umbrella of City of Armadale.
Residents also made statements, providing their fear of being unprepared for fire season due to the ongoing issue.
Councillors made it clear that a decision would not be made until a full report, including the answering of 137 questions, was presented formally.
Councillor John Keogh attempted to put forth an urgent matter for the decision to be made, with many councillors rejecting the matter as urgent due to the need for a report.
Mayor Ruth Butterfield explained that it was vital to get a proper and consistent report, answering 111 questions from the city and 27 from residents in Roleystone.
“In relation to the Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade (RVFB), I would like to stress that no decision has yet been made, and given that this is such an important decision, council is ensuring we have all the necessary information before we act. Until a decision is made, the status quo remains,” she said.
“Following the council decision of 28 June 2021, council has deferred consideration of the recommendations pending receipt of further information, and also requested the mayor, deputy mayor and chief executive meet with the Commissioner of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services at the earliest opportunity.”
Ms Butterfield met with the city’s deputy mayor Carole Frost and chief executive Joanne Abbiss, Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm, and DFES staff.
Available councillors also met with the RVFB management committee representatives, RVBF representatives who hold different and varying views on the issues, and city staff on various occasions.
“I would like to emphasise that there is no proposal for trucks to be removed,” Ms Butterfield said.
“It is also important to note, that the city will continue to conduct mitigation works, and we are applying for funding to conduct further mitigation works.
“The well-being of all of the members of the Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade is a priority for the city, as is the continued emergency response capability provided for Roleystone by the brigade.
“The ultimate decision with regard to the RVFB’s request to transition to DFES management will be made as soon as possible.
“We all need to be responsible for being fire ready.
“This is a whole of community responsibility and I trust we will move forward together towards this goal.”