News & Media

Chief Officer’s Intent 2015-16 summer season

By: Euan Ferguson

  1.54 PM 6 November, 2015

Views: 1823

On 4 November I issued the CFA Chief Officer’s intent for the 2015-16 summer season, which should be read with the intent established by the Emergency Management Commissioner, the State Control Team, other agency Chiefs and the Victorian Bushfire Handbook Edition 5

Through the application of the State Control Priorities, the intent for 2015-16 is to minimise the impacts of emergencies and enable affected communities to focus on their recovery as early as practicable. In doing this, we reinforce the need to:

  • Take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Our workplace has inherent risks that may change without warning. We must continually balance risk versus reward, considering the likelihood of success against the consequences of failure. We use “LACES” (The acronym for Lookouts, Awareness, Communication, Escape Routes and Safety Zones) and the Dynamic Risk Assessment process to guide our actions, risk controls and decision making. The key summer risks to firefighters (and their primary controls) include:

              o Burnover – (LACES, the 18 “Watchout” Situations)

              o Hazardous trees and tree hazards: identify, assess and mark “Clear and Present Danger” trees

              o Vehicle accidents: drive defensively to the conditions

              o Fatigue: ensure proper sleep/rest breaks are taken

              o Slips, trips and falls: Don’t be distracted and watch where you’re stepping

              o Dehydration: people are fed, watered and fit for the task they perform.

  • Protect life and property with determination

              o Priority is given to issuing public information and warnings 
              o Hit new fires hard and fast
              o Our firefighting will be purposeful, determined and thorough
              o Strike Teams - Strike Teams are formed to work with the advantage of concentration of effort, organisation and capacity. 

  • Demonstrate active leadership in our communities

              o Community engagement focuses on risk
              o We work with communities and individuals to protect what is important to them
              o Enable affected communities to recover. 

  • We work as one

              o With other agencies 
              o With community and other leaders.

  • Be Ready

              o VUCA: The world we live in is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. When an emergency occurs, it sometimes results in chaos.
              o Exercise foresight 
              o Think and act with humility. 

The complete document can be accessed on Brigades Online here.

Last Updated: 10 December 2015