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Community Safety Update – June 2011
Welcome to my first ever blog. There's been some fantastic work recently that has prompted me to reflect on the efforts of our people, in particular the work done by our volunteers throughout recent Community Safety campaigns.
I was extremely impressed by the launch of the new FireSafe Kids program. This program, previously known as Brigades in Schools, is incredibly effective at reaching kids. Messages such as ‘Stop Drop and Roll' and ‘Get Down Low and Go-Go-Go' have become part of Victorian families, and I can only imagine how many lives they've saved.
I've always been proud that FireSafe Kids, like much of what we do, its completely driven by the goodwill and passion of our volunteers. We've had over 230 presenters trained and transferred to the new program - which has already been requested by over 100 schools. Our volunteer presenters are likely to reach over 90,000 kids in the coming months with fire awareness messages.
The Change Your Clocks, Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery campaign generated some great local media coverage thanks to support from our Brigades, many of whom set up displays at community events and their local Bunnings stores. I'd like to thank Max Johnson from the Edithvale Brigade who drove into town to be part of the media launch - which took up half of his work day. It was great to see him take out the smoke alarm challenge against Garry Connelly from MFB and also Matthew White from the Richmond Football Club!
We've had a huge amount of support already for the Winter Fire Safety campaign from the Sale, Boronia, Montrose and The Basin Brigades who all helped launch the campaign to television, radio and print media. I know a lot of Brigades have been involved with promoting the campaign through posters as well as local media.
On another note - I'd like to congratulate the thirteen volunteer firefighters who represented CFA at the recent 2011 National Emergency Management Volunteers Summit. They had an opportunity to hear from some of the leading thinkers in the volunteer emergency services, which will no doubt benefit their Brigades and in turn the whole community. Something they've brought back already which I particularly like is the idea that ‘we can't get a message to the community if we don't get the message out to our own people'.
Our community safety team is working with VFVB through the Community Safety Advisory Committee as well as some brigade members to improve our processes to get the key messages out.
We also had a group of twelve volunteers and staff from across the regions attend the NSW Rural Fire Service Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Conference in Wollongong. The conference gave some volunteers who are particularly active in the Community Safety field the opportunity to share and develop their knowledge around community engagement, and it's hoped that these volunteers will become champions for our Member Engagement Project.
Finally - if you know someone that is blind or vision impaired, someone that has trouble reading, or even someone that drives a lot - I urge you to tell them about our new audio FireReady Kit. It's a really great resource, produced by Vision Australia, who recently recognised us with a 'Highly Commended Award' as part of their Making a Difference campaign. You can request an audio FireReady Kit through the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (1800 240 667).