News & Media

Community engagement, road safety, emergency management fundamentals, planned burns

By: Euan Ferguson

  12.12 PM 1 June, 2015

Views: 522

Community Engagement State Forum
The fifth annual CFA Community Engagement State Forum will be held in Creswick on 1 and 2 August 1 and registrations of interest are now open. Led by the Member Engagement Volunteer Reference Group, this year's theme is ‘Community Connections – Let’s Join Forces’. For the first time, this year’s event will see CFA team up with SES and bring together members of both agencies who are preparing and educating their communities around fire, flood or storm.

This year’s event is timely for CFA to support brigade members undertaking a community safety role within their brigade. The Community Safety function is being formalised on Brigade Management Teams (BMTs) as per the changes to Brigade and Membership Classification. As an attendee of this event on several previous occasions, I encourage those who are interested in taking on this type of role at the brigade level to register their interest. Register your interest to attend here or contact the Member Engagement Team on (03) 9262 8851 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Registrations of interest close 7 June 2015.

Toward Zero - a new road safety strategy for Victoria
CFA has been invited to contribute to the development of a new Road Safety Strategy for Victoria through participation in one of six public consultation sessions that will be held from 2 to 17 June 2015 across Victoria. Road safety is a shared responsibility for all Victorians. A new Road Safety Strategy will aim to engage the whole community in working together towards a future where there are no deaths and serious injuries on our roads. For more information about the forums and to register your attendance, please visit www.towardszero.vic.gov.au.

The Fundamentals of Emergency Management
The emergency management sector is working together to develop common principles underpinning emergency management activities. This first publication, the Fundamentals of Emergency Management (Class 1 Emergencies) outlines the principles underpinning the emergency management activities of CFA, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), MFB, SES, and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV). There are six layers of operational doctrine that are common to the agencies, which sit within a hierarchy. These include Authorising Environment; Capstone layer; Fundamental layer, Procedural layer, Technical layer and Training layer. This document outlines the fundamental layer. While it specifically references the responder agencies and EMV in support, the document provides overarching guiding principles on the management of emergencies that may be applied to a variety of emergencies.

Eight principles for managing emergencies are proposed:
1. Primacy of life
2. Community centric
3. Unified
4. Progressive
5. Risk driven
6. Integrated and collaborative
7. Flexible
8. Communicating information.

Read the document here.

Review of performance targets for fuel management on public land by the IGEM
As part of the Victorian Government's commitment to keeping the state safe, the Inspector-General of Emergency Management (IGEM) was asked to review performance targets for the bushfire fuel management program on public land. IGEM invited public submissions into the current approaches to fuel management for bushfire protection in Victoria and suggested future performance targets. The report makes recommendations which include a shift away from a hectare-based fuel reduction target. It recommends a move toward a risk-reduction approach where the most at-risk areas are prioritised for fuel reduction. A copy of the report is available here. CFA supports a risk-based approach to planned burning.

CFA Planned Burning Project
The CFA Planned Burning Project is funded for three years until mid-2017. The project is running in parallel to the Vegetation Management Program and focused on two of DELWP’s priority Risk Landscapes, specifically the Barwon Otway and East Central areas. Two Planned Burning Resource Coordinators have supported the program. The coordinators have worked closely with the Vegetation Management Team to develop an improved resource tracking system for planned burning. These roles will be expanded from September 2015.

Consultation is continuing to maximise the benefit of the two Risk Landscape Coordinators who can assist in running phoenix modeled fire spreads to measure the value of planned burning in terms of risk reduction to public and private land. This work will assist in better targeting limited resources to burns that achieve the greatest good.

Resources including weather and fuel meters, and trailers to assist with burn camps and transportation of bulk burn mix have been jointly purchased with the Vegetation Management Program. These will be available for use to CFA in the new financial year.

CFA has also mapped system requirements to jointly manage burn planning and notifications through the new Fuel Management System hosted by DELWP, which will better integrate CFA burning activities with existing well-established systems.

“When looking to developing such competence, ….[a great leader in fire] … “personal genuineness and integrity, mindfulness and self compassion are critical vehicles to consider.” 
A.L. Waldron & V.Ebbeck (Int Journal Wildland Fire 24 (2))

Last Updated: 10 December 2015