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Change of season brings new challenges
When concentrating on the bushfire season we can be forgiven for focusing on the here and now, but of course work at CFA is not just seasonal, and as we approach the winter months we need to remain as ready as ever in dealing with new conditions and different challenges.
As one season ends and the countdown to another begins, we need to continue to work with the community right throughout the year, and face the coming tests like we so successfully faced them during the summer.
During that period, residents throughout the state committed to preparing themselves and their families for bushfire risk. This makes our role so much easier because we know that without a full partnership with communities we cannot succeed in mitigating fire risk.
I am proud to say that more than 65,000 Victorians attended FireReady Victoria meetings this past summer, with well over 11,000 people attending Community Fireguard meetings.
The most pleasing aspect from these figures is the hundreds of new groups of residents who have embraced the importance of learning and adapting to crucial safety and preparedness messages.
It was also so promising to see residents engage with online content, with CFA's Household Bushfire Assessment Tool, available on the CFA website, receiving over 52,000 hits.
Such tremendous commitment highlights the importance of maintaining a strong partnership with the people who matter the most.
CFA must continue to work closer than ever with, and engage and support the people from within these communities.
The recent Easter weekend emphasised the willingness of CFA members to build on community relationships. Countless members donated their time and energy to raise funds for the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
CFA brigades across the state raised tens of thousands of dollars. To add to this sterling effort, CFA and MFB epitomised the relentless goodwill of emergency services organisations by coming together to raise more than $15,000 on Good Friday at the 24 hour relay held in the Melbourne CBD.
It is testament to the indomitable spirit of CFA members that we were able to play a significant role in helping the Royal Children's Hospital raise a record $14,462,000 for the Appeal.
That is the sort of sacrifice and hard work that continues to make CFA a proven community organisation.
Thank you to all CFA members for your generous and ongoing support of Victorian communities and let's continue to work just as hard in the winter months as we have throughout the bushfire season.