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2011-12 Fire Season Campaign
We need to bring home the reality that the bushfire threat applies to all Victorians. The intent is to make sure that people, particularly those who live in high risk bushfire areas, are better prepared against the threat of fire. As we know, community complacency is a constant challenge when encouraging people to take some time out to plan their course of action.
The advertising campaign is built around asking people to make a plan so they will know what to do, rather than leaving life critical decisions to the last minute. Our research shows that as many as 75 per cent of people in high risk areas do not have a detailed Bushfire Survival Plan.
It is recognised that the TV and radio advertisements may upset some people, particularly those who were directly affected by the 2009 bushfires. We recognise that this includes numbers of our own volunteers and staff. I encourage you to talk to your family and colleagues about these advertisements and ensure they know they are coming, and how they might avoid them if that is their wish. We will be publishing the airing times of the television advertisements so that members can "switch off" if they want to avoid viewing or hearing the campaign. A listing of the programs in which the advertisements will be run will be available on the CFA website for people who want to avoid seeing the advertisements. This list will be updated weekly. As well, the advertisements will not be played during children's viewing times as rated by FreeTV Australia.
We'd like to reinforce that should you need to talk to someone about your reaction to critical incidents, including the 2009 campaign fires, and you don't feel comfortable talking to people in your regular support network, CFA provides a range of support services to assist you. These include:
• Peer support. You can contact your District/Regional Peer Coordinator directly or through the Rostered Duty Officer.
• Converge International - Chaplains & Psychologists (by calling 1800 337 068).
• The CFA After Hours Welfare Support line (by calling 1800 628 616)
• PPC Worldwide Psychologists and Counsellors (by calling 1300 361 008)
You can also visit CFA Online and search for Welfare Services for more information.
The Premier of Victoria has written an open letter to Victorians that will be run in the print media on Sunday 27th November and again on Thursday 1st December. The Premier's letter will include contact details for the Victorian Bushfire Information Line, who are able to refer people to counselling services (through the Department of Human Service's Bushfire Community Support Program).