Funding for special fire fighting equipment in pastoral regions is part of this year's grants by the State Lotteries Commission towards assisting the volunteer emergency services.
Emergency Services Minister Bob Wiese said for the first time a special allocation of $45,900 had been spent on providing 30 special 'slip-on' pump units for fighting fires in pastoral areas.
Mr Wiese said the units, which slid easily on the back of a utility, were important for pastoralists in isolated areas who needed prompt access to fire fighting equipment.
"Timing is crucial when trying to prevent a 'wildfire' from taking off," he said.
"If pastoralists can get to the start of a grass fire with equipment, like these units, then there may be an opportunity to avert a catastrophe."
Mr Wiese said the special units had been requested by the Shires of Leonora, Laverton, Wiluna, Shark Bay, Exmouth, Dundas, Coolgardie, Meekatharra and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Volunteer emergency service organisations throughout Western Australia would benefit from a total grant of $468,535 by the Lotteries Commission to be distributed to the Bush Fire Brigades, State Emergency Service units and Sea Search and Rescue groups.
Racing and Gaming Minister Max Evans said the grant was the first allocation during a three-year funding program in which $1.35 million would be directed to the emergency services organisations.
Mr Evans said during the past five years the commission had made 411 grants totalling $4.606 million towards assisting these volunteer groups.
"The commission recognises the tremendous work being done by these volunteer organisations and is keen to support the important contribution they are making to their local communities," he said.
Mr Wiese said the funding program was a major initiative for the three areas of service in preparation for the cyclone and fire season.
Fire fighting agencies throughout WA would receive more than $258,000 towards the purchase of new firefighting vehicles, new fire stations, protective clothing, hoses, pumps and other much-needed equipment. State Emergency Service units had been allocated more than $100,000 towards rescue equipment, radios, facilities and four-wheel drive vehicles. Grants of more than $64,000 would assist sea rescue groups to buy rescue vessels, communication equipment and better facilities.
"These volunteer agencies can only operate with dedicated people who are prepared to give their time and effort to ensuring the safety of others and it is important they have the right equipment to get the job done," Mr Wiese said.
Media contact: Mark Thompson on 222 9595