As a part of the post-bushfire recovery efforts in rural Victoria, Ford Australia has handed over four Ranger 4x4 XL dual-cab utes to the Country Fire Authority, which will use them to replace CFA vehicles lost in the Black Saturday blazes.
The Cragieburn and Tallangatta brigades will each receive one of the Ford Rangers, while one each will go to the Yarra Area and Westernport.
CFA Chairman Kerry Murphy was presented with the keys to the utes by Ford Australia President and CEO Marin Burela at a ceremony in Kilmore earlier today. Mr Murphyexpressed thanks for the support shown by Ford throughout the aftermath of the devastating bushfires.
"I am proud to be Chairman of CFA, and part of my pride comes from the knowledge that the ethos of our organisation is based on mateship - friends helping friends, communities helping communities and private and public sector helping each other," Mr Murphy said.
"Ford's assistance during the fires is very much appreciated."
In the period immediately after the fires hit much of central Victoria, Ford loaned the CFA 25 vehicles and granted employees who were CFA and SES volunteers paid emergency services leave. Ford also passed the hat among its workers and raised around $70,000 for the relief effort, while it also donated a Mondeo XR5 Turbo to Cricket Australia's charity auction, raising a further 39,990 in the process.
"As we're in the car business, one of the most useful ways to assist CFA was to replace the vehicles lost in the devastating bushfires," Mr Burela said.
"The donation of these vehicles supports a broader range of bushfire assistance programs including an employee donation scheme, vehicle loan program and paid emergency service leave for CFA and SES volunteers."