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See inside the Country Fire Service's new Murray Bridge headquarters
From the region three command centre, firefighters watch an area stretching from the Coorong to the Riverland.
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The next time a bushfire threatens the Murraylands, this is the room where they will lead the fightback.
Three huge screens hang on a wall at a building on Murray Bridge’s east side.
One lists current incidents around South Australia, one has the prevailing weather conditions and one is an animation showing which way the wind is blowing across the state.
Nearby is a touch screen the size of a large dining table, which incident controllers can use to map the progress of a fire and deployment of Country Fire Service units.
This is the new CFS region three headquarters, where officers keep watch over an area stretching from Salt Creek to Renmark and beyond.
Staff moved into the building on October 17, but it was not until Thursday afternoon that the state Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Minister, Vincent Tarzia, gave it an official opening.
Deputy Chief Officer Andrew Stark said it was essential for CFS personnel to have the facilities they needed as they dealt with fires, hazardous material spills and road accidents.
“This work is relentless,” he said.
“I’m delighted this new facility has been established to allow the staff of region three to do their vital work ... (in) a facility that will actually work to support our activities right across the region, in a building that has been converted to meet our purpose in every way.”
He thanked the state government for investing in the new HQ and staff for undertaking the move.
Regional commander Ray Jackson said it had been easy to convince his team to move to a building where they wouldn’t have to line up for the toilet or wash dishes by hand.
The CFS was previously based on Seventh Street, in a building which will be refurbished before becoming the new home of youth mental health organisation Headspace.
Business services officer receives National Medal
The occasion was extra special for business services officer Lucy Sinclair, to whom Mr Tarzia awarded the National Medal for more than 15 years’ public service.
“You are a pivotal member of the CFS,” Mr Tarzia said.
“I’m told that wherever you go within the region you are admired and respected, with a very sunny disposition, a can-do attitude and a genuine desire to help.”
With regard to the headquarters, Mr Tarzia said it was the state government’s privilege to provide the CFS with the resources it needed to protect lives, property and the environment.