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Community Safety - Season Wrap Up
The 2009/2010 fire season has been one of hard work and significant change for CFA, and I think it's important for everyone to take a moment to reflect on what we've achieved.
I'm proud of how we've stepped up to the challenge in such a short time frame, and how we've adapted in response to the tragic events of February 2009 as well as the Victorian Royal Bushfire Commission.
Thanks to the tireless work of staff and volunteers, CFA Community Safety has introduced an unprecedented number of initiatives and developments as part of the Bushfire Preparedness Program many of which are now nearing completion.
Amongst the changes introduced, Victorians now have updated bushfire safety information available in 32 other languages and audio format, as well as an online Household Bushfire Self-Assessment Tool which has received over 55,000 hits.
CFA has been heavily involved in various community engagement programs, with over 65,000 people attending a FireReady Victoria meeting during the 2009/2010 bushfire season.
420,000 FireReady Kits were printed, 265,000 of which were directly mailed to residents in 52 high-risk locations, 77 Neighbourhood Safer Places - Places of Last Resort were designated by councils and 66 Township Protection Plans have been developed across the State.
The South West area alone has completed more than 1000 kilometres of fuel reduction burning since January.
It's been an inspiration to see this organisation pull together to get the job done throughout an extremely stressful time, and it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the 105 new team members we took on to cope with our huge workload.
I know I certainly have days where the fast-paced environment we work in seems overwhelming, and I appreciate the steep learning curve new staff have faced - many of whom dropping everything to help us through this hectic time.
The Bushfire Preparedness Program has seen us work even closer with partnering organisations, and this season has seen us further strengthen our relationships with Municipalities, Tourism Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Human Services, Metropolitan Fire Brigade and VicRoads.
We've made some real progress with the way we work together with these organisations, and I'm confident this will continue well into the future.
I know it can be tough at times, but I'm genuinely looking forward to working with you all for the next chapter as we continue to make Victorian communities safer.
This is just the start of our journey.
BFPP projects include: Neighbourhood Safer Places, Victorian Fire Risk register, Community Fireguard and FireReady Victoria meetings, Household Bushfire Self-Assessment Tool, Advice to Property Owners projects, Children's Bushfire Education, Tourism Initiatives, Programs for Diverse Populations, an online community meeting system and Updating of Community Safety publications.