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CFA takes home Fire Services Award
Upton Hill Fire Brigade and the Strathbogie Shire Council have been recognised for their outstanding work to help keep firefighters safe on our roads.
The team took home the Fire Services Award in December, as part of the annual Fire Awareness Awards.
Their project, ‘SaferLinks’, was designed to address the risk to firefighters if they became trapped on the road during a bushfire. The project identified natural features along the Upton Hill Road, and established ‘safe zones’ where firefighters could park their truck if they got caught in a fire. These safe zones were called Emergency Services Safer Areas or ESSAs.
Strathbogie Shire Council Emergency Management Fire Coordinator and volunteer firefighter Gary Washusen said local landholders were very supportive and agreed to maintain the designated ESSAs by giving firefighters access to their grazing paddocks and installing ESSA signs around their land.
“SaferLinks has been accepted very well by the local Upton Hill community, with landholders helping to identify places where firefighters can pull off the road,” said Gary.
CFA Vegetation Management Officer Phil Hawkey said the project could potentially save lives in a very cost-effective way that involves the local community.
“The initiative leaves the road in its natural state while also ensuring that firefighters can travel in a safe environment,” said Phil.
Each year, the Fire Services Award recognises an innovative fire project that encourages best practice by fire service staff, brigade members, station, district depot or agency staff.