Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Roza Sage MP Member for Blue Mountains today joined NSW RFS Superintendent David Jones for the presentation of 3 thermal imaging cameras by Andrew Fraser MP, Chairman of Masonicare, in company with the Grand Master of Freemasons of NSW & ACT, Derek Robson AM.
Masonicare (the charitable arm of Freemasons of NSW & ACT) was formed in 2001 and since then has donated several millions of dollars to a variety of organizations. It shares the mission of delivering a range of charitable activities designed to improve the lives of those in the general community embracing the positioning within all Regions, Districts, and Lodges under the philosophy and vision of “proudly helping our local communities”.
Following the devastating bushfires in late 2013, The Grand Master requested Masonicare to assist in some way by accessing its Disaster Relief Fund and then raising additional funds through a number of fundraising activities.
A total of $180,000 has already been raised and made available for donation to the relief effort for this and future fire disasters. It was thought that the best use of these funds would be by providing some practical equipment to the fire-fighters, specifically the Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigades in the affected areas.
Advice was sought from the RFS as to what type of equipment would be the most useful which resulted in the decision to purchase specially manufactured thermal imaging cameras.
Stuart Ayres said this state of the art equipment will greatly assist our hard working fire-fighters during their future fire fighting efforts.
“Masonicare are to be commended for their fundraising efforts and for their dedication in assisting communities in times of need,” said Stuart Ayres.
The initial purchase is 15 cameras, 3 to be donated to each of the 5 affected areas:
The Blue Mountains
- Port Stephens
- Southern Highlands
- Lake Macquarie
Mr Fraser said the camera chosen was the Drӓger UCF 7000 which is easy to use, has video and sound recording and does not provide an ignition source in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Mrs Sage thanked Mr Fraser, Mr Robson and Masonicare for their generous donation.
“Communities like mine in the Blue Mountains that have been hit by devastating bushfires have been so grateful for all the generosity that has been forthcoming since the fires.
“These cameras will be a fantastic asset for the brave and selfless fire-fighters in the Blue Mountains and beyond who play such a vital role in protecting families and properties.” added Roza Sage.