During construction, trenches are often dug into the earth to lay pipes or other infrastructure. Trenches are dangerous and can collapse, trapping workers or members of the public. Rescue from a trench requires specialised equipment and trained personnel. However, despite population growth meaning more construction around Ballarat, Mildura, and Bendigo, there is no trench rescue equipment or trained personnel ready to respond, meaning a unit must be dispatched from Melbourne, Warrnambool or Wangaratta.
Four years after the tragic trench collapse of March 2018, FRV Professional Firefighters/First Responders are still waiting for appropriate rescue equipment from the Andrews Government.
After 10 years of waiting, firefighters are sounding the alarm: there is a trench crisis in Victoria, which Daniel Andrews and Emergency Services Minister Jacyln Symes is ignoring and there are two unused rescue trucks gathering dust in Melbourne.