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Everyone wins at Mansfield’s Fire Ready Trivia
Both the risk and reality of bushfire has long shaped the lives of those who reside in Mansfield in Victoria’s North East.
“Many of our residents have a high to extreme risk of bushfire,” says Sue Arndt, the Municipal Emergency Resource Program Officer for Mansfield Shire Council.
“On top of this around 50% of our community is made up of holiday homes, which leads to population surges over weekends and holidays, as well as large numbers of people who are unaware of the fire risk.”
The Mansfield Shire Council has worked extensively with CFA and SES to roll out fire safety programs, including scenario-based community exercises with community leaders and the current Red Bucket project, which saw ‘plan and prepare’ branded buckets full of fire safety information handed out to local residents.
This summer the council has received a Local Initiative Program grant from CFA to develop a trivia game that will further build emergency awareness and readiness in the community.
“The new trivia game will focus on all emergencies, but during summer we will be targeting our messaging to fires and heatwave – particularly grassfires this year,” Sue explains.
“We are working with a professional designer who will help us with all the format and design elements, but basically it will have three rounds focussing on readiness, response and resilience.”
Inspired by the Surf Coast Shire’s Fire Game, the Mansfield trivia game is designed to be a fun and flexible community activity that will meet the needs of both residents and holiday makers.
“We have ten small communities in our area, and reps from each will be invited to the inaugural trivia night in early 2017,” Sue says.
“They will have the opportunity to share their knowledge with each other, and they will then be given the resources to run the trivia nights themselves during times that will suit travellers and tourists.”
The trivia questions will be based on Fire Ready materials, but will also include power outage, flood and storm information. CFA and SES members will be on hand to answer some of the more curly questions and help the teams to outwit one another.
CFA’s Local Initiatives Program offers one-off funding grants to brigades and community organisations to deliver fire safety activities that are outside of the box and empower local communities.
Sue believes the Mansfield trivia game meets both of these expectations.
“There will be winners and prizes with every round of course,” she says.
“But ultimately, everyone in the room will be a winner. Everyone will walk away with a greater understanding of our risks here in Mansfield, as well as a stronger connection with the agencies that are here to support us before, during and after emergencies.”