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Front line community engagement
Increasingly CFA and other emergency services are moving from a traditional response focus to one that places greater emphasis on prevention and preparedness.
By Chief Officer Joe Buffone
Through community engagement and education the promotion and realisation of more resilient communities. Here are two very different examples.
As part of Government's response to the Lancefield-Cobaw fire and the Inspector General for Emergency Management review of performance measures for fuel management on public land ‘Safer Together’ was launched. Safer together commits the sector to a risk-based and community-focused approach to bushfire management. It sets expectations on fire and land managers to work together and in partnership with communities to tailor bushfire management to local needs.
I had the great privilege recently to learn from the group of Grade 6 children from Anglesea Primary School. The kids, supported by their school and Anglesea brigade, presented their fire education program at the State Control Centre. This was a great example of a grassroots program that delivered an interactive fire behaviour safety education presentation in both a practical and relatable way.
The program has demonstrated benefits to the children participating through building their self-confidence as well as established community connections. The children have influenced adults in understanding their risk, planning for bushfires and decision-making at the family and community level. It’s these types of programs and local initiatives that we should continually be fostering, supporting and growing.