A Fire Ready presentation was adapted to incorporate a Burn Table (Fire Education Table) demonstration. CLBE staff were able to reinforce key messages with the benefit of an interactive fire behaviour demonstration to great effect.
Peter Nye brigade member at Devon North said “we had an excellent turn out, 66 community members attended which was a great result”.
Community Education Coordinator Nicole Cooper-Warneke said “volunteers and Captains from both brigades weren’t 100% sold on the idea of CFA staff coming into their patch and delivering Fire Safety messages”
“However by empowering brigades to take a leading role in the planning and promoting of the event; we saw over 90 community members engaged over two nights”.
CLBE staff member Rachael Leighton said “Robust discussion was had regarding this season’s key messages and why they are so important. The burn table demonstrated these points wonderfully, and attendees were able to ‘connect the dots’ ”.
Several meetings were held with both brigades to get an understanding of what challenges they had faced in the past with engaging their community and how CFA could support a positive perspective of community engagement.
Brigade members were instrumental in promoting these events -letter box drops, community notice boards, local businesses, Yarram Standard Newspaper, ABC radio and one on one conversation were had to promote these events.
“Brigade members and community attendees enthusiastically participated in a Q and A session, in which great discussion was had about the benefit of hindsight and some of the decisions made by community members as well as how these decisions enabled and prevented them from sticking to their fire plans in the past” Rachael said
Peter said “we have plans to utilise the Burn Table for group training sessions in the near future and have discussed other opportunities for community engagement”.
Old beliefs and negative thoughts can be turned around if we take the time to talk with brigades and listen to what they want.