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District 27 meets many milestones
CFA’s District 27 makes up for its small size with an enormous level of complexity.
The agency’s newest district has been operating since December 2014.
It is responsible for protecting some of Australia’s largest electricity generators among other industry infrastructure including gas plants, paper mills, timber plantations and the only commercial aviation manufacturer in the country.
The district comprises two integrated brigades, 20 volunteer brigades and one Forest Industry brigade.
District 27 Operations Manager Bill Johnstone led the team in forming the district, working hard to create a new culture that encourages innovation and acts with agility.
“I have an incredible team dedicated to shaping District 27,” Bill said.
“As a small, new district with a lot of complex sites to protect, we need to plan for a range of scenarios while having the ability to think on our feet when the unexpected happens.
“An incident at one of these large sites can have major ramifications for the communities we protect so when forming the district, we prioritised our existing partnerships between emergency services and industry to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to emergency management.”
One initiative of the district was the creation of the CFA/Latrobe Valley Industry Forum which was established to strengthen existing relationships between these organisations, and discuss matters of mutual interest such as fire and emergency management.
In its previous life, District 27 HQ was the State Electricity Commission’s Credit Union head office in Morwell. Renovations are now complete with hot desks, meeting rooms and an auditorium that can seat up to 100 people.
“This has been a real bonus, with the facility already well used for briefings, training sessions and large meetings,” Bill said.
“More space means we can better support our brigades. We are creating a hub space which will provide access to a range of materials and literature.
“Our fire brigades are benefitting from having a district office close by, where they can drop in conduct their business without having to travel long distances.
“Change always challenges us, and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved to this point. It is a privilege to have this unique opportunity.”