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First blog as CFA Regional Director
Over the next 12 months I plan to meet and chat with as many of our members as possible. I've already attended brigade functions including the opening of the Tinamba Fire Station and dinners at Inverloch, Traralgon, Morwell and Yarram. I enjoy talking directly with our members and gaining feedback and ideas about where CFA should be focusing in the future.
At the time of writing this column, Gippsland had already experienced a number of bushfires with one resulting in the issuing of an emergency warning to the community of Gypsy Point. This is a sign that the bushfire season is fast approaching and has already arrived in some parts of Gippsland.
I encourage all brigades and groups to check their preparedness levels for bushfires if they haven't already done so. When you have completed this, get out into your communities and talk to your neighbours and community members about what they need to do to assist the entire community.
A key message to keep delivering is that while it's highly unlikely that we will see Black Saturday type conditions, history shows that in an average bushfire season we still lose houses and, on some occasions, lives.
As I travel around Gippsland, I'm always impressed by the contribution that CFA members make to the community - whether it's the captain at Jack River talking to ABC radio about an upcoming community event, training for new appliances such as those at Traralgon, Moe and Warragul, or making presentations to Gippsland volunteers who have served diligently for long periods of time.
I was delighted to present CFA honorary life memberships to two volunteers at Tinamba recently. CFA is an organisation that allows us to contribute to the future by ensuring that our communities are as safe as they can be. The challenge for us all is that we tend to dwell on the negatives.
Step back and have a look at what we've achieved in the past. Whether it is at brigade, group, district or region level, there's always lots of evidence available that shows how good a job we are doing.
Keep up the great work and I look forward to talking with as many of you as possible in the near future.
Twitter - @gipps_potzii