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Community Safety Champions
I'd like to use this blog to discuss our Member Engagement Project, which is now gaining momentum.
As I mentioned in my last entry, twelve volunteers and staff from across the regions have recently returned from the NSW Rural Fire Service Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Conference and have already taken on the role of a community safety champion.
I'm pleased to hear that many of them have already presented to their Brigades and Groups about what they learnt and their enthusiasm has spread from the grass roots upwards.
The overall goal of this project is to build, encourage and support community education capacity within brigades by encouraging a network of champions, who can inform us of their local needs and drive community engagement and education at the local level. It's also about recognising and promoting the great work of volunteers in Community Safety roles.
The immediate aim is to support volunteers to deliver bushfire safety messages among their peers at the brigade level and ultimately to the community. At this stage we'll be encouraging people to discuss their local initiatives through a range of forums such as the dedicated Facebook page, CFA Connect, email networks and newsletters.
Some examples of some fantastic community safety initiatives include:
- Hamilton Urban Fire Brigade's move to encourage all members of their Brigade to have a bushfire survival plan, as well as holding Community Fireguard workshops for the families of brigade members.
- The Loddon Mallee Region Community Education Team, a group of volunteers who work to support other brigade and community-based activities through attendance at events as well as providing advice.
- The 18 brigades in District 7 that have put together a team of 30 qualified community education presenters who are available to deliver community education to areas that aren't able to provide a qualified presenter - which could become a great initiative for all brigades.
- Mt Martha Fire Brigade's unique membership model which incorporates their Brigade Support team, who take pressure off the operational team by covering such things as staging area support, hydrant maintenance, Fire Safe Kids delivery and various other community safety activities.
There's some really great work happening and I encourage everyone to share what they're up to, so that we can all benefit from it.