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'Can we fit?' image proves a hit
A big issue facing CFA brigades in rural areas is property access. Some gates are too small for tankers to fit through or for the trucks to turn around. Gordon Fire Brigade identified this as a problem in its area and decided to do something about it.
After hearing of the idea at the Community Engagement and Fire Awareness State Forum, Gordon Fire Brigade developed and distributed ’Can we fit?’ posters with the dimensions of their truck in their community newsletter. It was also given out with newspapers via the local general store. It had an overwhelming positive response from the community.
Diane Lawson from Gordon brigade shared this idea with other brigades at the Members Engagement Volunteer Reference Group via email in October.
Michael Chapman, DGO of Whittlesea Diamond Valley Group, liked the idea of the ’Can We Fit?’ poster and modified the poster for Arthurs Creek brigade.
"I thought that it would be great for my area too. It’s a visual message that ticks multiple boxes for our community,' said Michael.
Michael published a version of the poster as the front cover of the local Arthurs Creek Community Newsletter and it was put on the brigade's website and Facebook page, where the image has been shared an amazing 268 times.
It was also shared with the members of the Whittlesea Diamond Valley Group Community Engagement team. Doreen Fire Brigade has adapted the campaign for its brigade too, with Doreen reaching 20,000 people plus through its Facebook post.
"What I like about it," said Michael, "is that it’s a basic community safety message that appeals to many brigade members who see the importance of operational access."
Diane Lawson of Gordon brigade was amazed by the viral nature of the poster. "It’s great to see we can share good ideas among different brigades. I was really pleased to see others have done something similar and it be so popular on social media. We don’t want to set the expectation that the community will always receive a fire truck; they might not get one and need to be prepared themselves. However, if we are able to attend it’s good for them to know we can get through the gate.'
It would be very interesting to see your version of the 'Can we fit' image with your brigade name so we can make a collage of all of them, as we know this has gone out as far as Western Australia!