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Fire safety – straight from the horse’s mouth
CFA’s involvement in the prestigious Equitana Australia event provided an invaluable opportunity to focus on a niche fire safety message – horses and bushfire safety.
And from the large numbers of people stopping to talk to our members at the CFA stand, horse owners and lovers were keen to take away the safety information on hand.
CFA was Equitana’s chosen Community Partner for the event, which allowed us to attend as an exhibitor, with event signage and stand, as well as the opportunity to display a CFA tanker, which proved popular, particularly amongst younger visitors.
Although coordinated by the Community Safety and Marketing teams, the event’s success came down to the 19 CFA horse-loving members who volunteered their time to man the display and more importantly, speak to people about how to prepare their properties and animals for bush and grassfires.
Held at the Melbourne Showgrounds in November, Equitana is regarded as the largest equine showcase in the southern hemisphere, with its mix of education, competition, entertainment and exhibition and attracted thousands of visitors through the gates.
Pre-eminent presenters included royalty in Captain Mark Phillips, Olympians from both Australia and abroad, as well as specialist educators, including CFA’s own Lisa Blackman and Sharon Merritt, who presented education sessions on preparation and increasing the chance of horse survival after fire.
Lisa is an experienced eventer and community bushfire educator, and Sharon is Macclesfield Brigade Captain and CFA Vegetation Management Officer. Both are passionate about horses and including horses and other stock in fire plans.
Those who volunteered their time across the 4-day event said they enjoyed the chance to meet and chat to people about fire safety.
“It was great to see how dedicated and receptive people were,” one of them said.
Having the opportunity to stay and have a look around the event was an added bonus for those who volunteered their time and expertise on CFA’s behalf.