17
August
2018
|
03:30
Australia/Melbourne

Hot property sold at a loss to help local fire station expand

Thanks to the generosity of Bupa Edithvale resident John Hennessy, more than 100 fire fighters can continue to serve the Edithvale community and also provide statewide support to major emergencies.

John Hennessy was ready to move out of the home he had lived in for 40 years and into Bupa Aged Care, but first wanted his old place to go to a good cause.

As opposed to selling his home to property developers, John sold it for a loss to help the Edithvale Fire Brigade expand because of the great respect he had for the work they did.

"I used to sit there at the front of the house and watch them racing across the drive when there’d be a fire. I used to think they did a great job," John said.

The brigade attends more than 300 emergency calls a year, including providing emergency medical response in support of Ambulance Victoria.

About 250 people attended the grand opening of the new fire station which was a surprise for John.

"I received a written invitation and attended the event by myself. They gave me the greatest wrap I’ve ever got in my life."

"I supported them as much as I could and I think they appreciated that," John said.

The growing needs of the community were met thanks to a $960,000 land acquisition that Graham Fountain, Captain of Edithvale CFA said wouldn’t have been possible without John’s ongoing support.

"John has been a long-term neighbour to the old fire station on Station Street and we agreed that he could stay in his property until the time came for the new fire station to be rebuilt," Graham said.

"Our existing site was considered to be in the right location, so that meant we had to secure additional land."

"John was happy to negotiate an outcome that fitted within the budget we had," he said.

The 88-year-old moved into Bupa Edithvale aged care home after being a long-term neighbour to the station.

The new $3.5m station now has four vehicle bays, new meeting room and a volunteer business hub and community co-working space where crews can work or study on site and immediately respond to emergency call outs.