News & Media

24 hour relay, Loddon Mallee fire management plan, cooperation...

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 4 April, 2011

Views: 12542

24 hour CFA / MFB Relay: Leading Firefighter James Wong from Boronia has alerted me to the 24 hour CFA/MFB Relay. The purpose is to raise funds for the Royal Children's Hospital "Good Friday Appeal". Following a very successful inaugural event last year, CFA and MFB will again join forces to make an impact for the community: "two services, one cause". The event is being organized by the CFA Running and Adventure Club (CFARAC) and MFB Charity Running Club (MFBCRC). The event runs from 0900hrs Thursday 21 to 0900hrs Friday 22 April. Run well, stay safe and successful fund raising!

 Evaluating Community Safety Programs:
CFA's Manager Community Safety Research and Evaluation, Alan Rhodes, advises that a telephone survey of households in high risk bushfire locations is being conducted by Strahan Research on behalf of CFA over the next two weeks. The survey is part of our evaluation of the effectiveness of the community engagement project. The survey focuses on people's participation in and response to various programs such as local meetings, advice to property owners, risk messaging and use of CFA web site. Alan advises that CFA members may receive calls from the public or volunteers about the survey. Please let them know it is a legitimate CFA research activity which is used by CFA to improve programs and report to Government.

 Loddon Mallee Draft Regional Strategic Fire Management Plan:
Well done to the Loddon Mallee Regional Strategic Fire Management Planning Committee and Chair, CFA's Loddon Mallee Regional Manager Patrick O'Brien. They have recently released the draft Regional Strategic Fire Management Plan. This is the first time a strategic bushfire management plan has been collated for the Region and according to Pat is the most complete snapshot of bushfire risk ever undertaken in the 10 municipalities. The plan uses data from the CSIRO, Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Victorian Fire Risk Register, and the Office of Emergency Services Commissioner. The Plan has identified four key strategies for the region: 1) To build resilience in the community, economy and environment to fire; 2) To build a culture of learning and improvement managing bushfire risk by building capability and monitoring its effectiveness; 3) To determine bushfire risk, its potential impact and how fire management organisations and the community best work together to manage it; and 4) To develop long term partnerships that better involve local communities in managing bushfire risk. The draft plan is a vital tool in developing fire management priorities for the future and is available at:

Professor Paul ‘t Hart, a crisis management expert who gave evidence to the Bushfires Royal Commission, says that "Major emergencies are not tackled by organisations but by networks of organisations..." For CFA, that means we work not just with our partner agencies such as MFB, DSE, Victoria Police and SES, but we also cooperate with local government, ambulance, health, transport, utilities and key owners of infrastructure. Cooperation has a number of key ingredients: First, there must be alignment of intent. For CFA our intent is guided first by our Mission ("To protect lives and property") and may be further described by your leader for a particular situation. Second, there needs to be communication between key players. Communication may be formal, but, as we see in high tempo, high risk teams, there needs to be a constant banter of communication amongst cooperators (think how in great team sports, team members talk to each other during the game). Third, there needs to be a positive attitude to cooperation. People have got to want to cooperate. As Brigadier Eason writes in the old CFA "Red Book": "Perhaps the best thought on this is the scriptural injunction "Go the extra mile"." Good communication, aligning of intent and cooperation takes effort. A final crucial ingredient to good cooperation is trust. Trust underpins every aspect of cooperation. Working to develop trusting cooperative relationships should be a constant priority at every level, for everyone, in CFA.

Quote of the week:

"Strength is granted to us all when we are needed to serve great causes." 

- Sir Winston Churchill


Last Updated: 10 December 2015