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Building relationships, building resilience
Eight CFA brigades (crossing three groups) from District 6 joined forces with SES in November last year to host a multi-brigade Open Day.
Funded through the Summer Fire Safety Local Initiatives program, the beefed-up Open Day provided an opportunity for brigades to build relationships, undertake community education and complete pre-season drills.
Initiated by Stonyford Community Safety Coordinator – Sally White, the event aimed to promote a cohesive and inclusive community with better access to assistance, information and knowledge.
“Stonyford is a small, fairly isolated community with many residents living without easy communication facilities,” Sally said. “We are surrounded by similar communities and for the first time we have come together; with these stronger ties across the region we can be better prepared and ultimately more resilient.”
Over 100 people attended the Open Day, which was held in conjunction with the Stonyford Market. Members of the community participated in fire safety activities including the Property Advice Visitation Service (PAVs) trailer, Fire Table and CFA Information Trailer. They were also provided with information from local vets regarding animal safety during the fire season.
The highlight of the day for everyone was the pre-season drills. Resembling championships, the drills offered an opportunity for the brigades to come together and put on a show for the public. Brigades were mixed up and put onto different tankers, and each exercise was timed making it more exciting for the crews and spectators. The exercise also ensured all operational members completed pre-season drills, in record time!
Stonyford Brigade received funding for the event through the Summer Fire Safety Local Initiatives program. This program provides brigades and selected community organisations with small, one-off funding grants to deliver highly localised projects that build and empower community leadership and develop awareness, shared responsibility and self-reliance to ultimately strengthen resilience. The program is currently funding 16 projects across the state.
For Stonyford and the other participating brigades, the funding received meant that they could successfully run a multi-brigade, multi-agency event without the burden of sourcing funding through brigade funds or sponsorships.