A largely unknown factory tucked away in Sunshine North is making a big impact across the state.
If you’ve passed by an emergency service vehicle recently, there’s a good chance it came from Bell fire and rescue.
Bell’s business development and industry engagement manager Peter Fowler said the company works with a variety of agencies.
“We work very closely with agencies like the CFA, MFB, SES, Emergency Management Victoria, DELWP and we design and manufacture all the various types of vehicles for them to go out into the operating environment,” Mr Fowler said.
“A major part of our business is also the building of vacuum jetting vehicles, which are designed and made here. They work on a lot of the road, rail and infrastructure projects.”
The company also recently completed a series of new specialist police vehicles designed to respond to public order incidents, boosting police capacity to rapidly respond to hostile and violent crowds and riots.
The four vehicles are designed to fit an entire crew of Public Order Response Team (PORT) officers – including all of their protective gear and crowd control equipment.
They can carry up to eight officers and mean that a PORT crew can travel together, giving police the ability to respond to incidents faster and more effectively.
Previously, PORT officers were required to travel in SUVs to jobs, with two officers in each car so they could fit in all their equipment.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the vehicles are a significant boost to police capabilities.
“The Public Order Response Team has been given a major boost, with 40 new staff, support officers, new equipment, and now new transport vehicles to help them respond to major incidents,” Ms Neville said.
“These officers are on the scene first, so it’s essential they can get there quickly and have access to every tool they need to keep Victorians safe.”
With the project now complete, Mr Fowler said the team at Bell fire and rescue wants to engage with the Brimbank community.
“We’re aiming to support the entire area,” Mr Fowler said.
“We want to link up with education providers and give opportunities people might not be aware of. A lot of the universities have final year students that might want to undertake a design project and this is a real life situation.
“They have the ability to design an element of an emergency services vehicle, whether it be a hose reel or anything innovative.”