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Fire Services Commissioner update
The great benefits of fire and emergency services working together in a joined-up manner are best illustrated through real life examples of what has been achieved so far.
2012-13 post-season debriefs
Post-season debriefs highlighted how effective a multi-agency approach to emergency management was last fire season from the ground up. All agencies worked extremely well together in initial attack which is the underpinning reason why only 24 of the 4,400 fires were listed as “significant” fires. Ensuring this approach is maintained and further enhanced will be a key part of preparing for the next season.
The multi-agency approach to Incident Control, Regional Control and State Control also proved extremely effective and helped achieve an outcome superior to previous years. At the State Control Centre the new Intelligence function, which includes Predictive Services and Bureau of Meteorology cells, provided improved products.
The creation of a multi-agency Risk and Consequence group was also a great enhancement to the State Controller, providing strategic advice on potential risk and consequences. These two new functions led to the delivery of superior emergency management and ensure that fire and emergency services work as one integrated force.
2013-14 fire season focus
Five key themes have been drawn from the 2012-13 fire season debriefs to form the basis of planning and preparing for the next season. These are:
- further developing and refining the process around evacuation to improve understanding
- ensuring fire agency personnel understand the triggers for transfer of control
- communicating changes to traffic management driven by experience and what’s been learned
- a continued focus on firefighter safety
- refining the content of advice and warnings provided to the community as well as the way in which we communicate them.
Other matters which will also be canvassed are record keeping, having personnel with local knowledge on incident management teams, the most appropriate type of aircraft to fight a fire for a particular landscape and improving the transition from relief to recovery.
The 2012-13 Fire Services Reform Program Progress Annual Review highlights the progress and achievements on reform programs which are driving significant change to the way the fire services and VICSES do business together. To view a copy of the review click here.
The State Fire and Emergency Services Training Framework will help further strengthen joined-up training and embed our common vision into all training. The framework provides a clear, consistent and strategic direction for aligning training priorities and plans across the fire and emergency services. To view a copy of the framework click here.
In March 2013, the Fire Services Commissioner sponsored a pilot project in Colac to explore how emergency services can support communities to develop a more networked or joined-up approach to emergency management at the local level and build leadership. The pilot explored the greater overall community value that can be achieved by working better together. For more information click here.