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International Firefighter's Day
Today is International Firefighters' Day. We give thanks all our firefighters for their extraordinary commitment, exceptional courage and selfless service.
In planning for the future we must acknowledge the lessons we have learned from the past and the legacy left by those who have gone before us. CFA has 67 plaques on the memorial wall at Fiskville. Each plaque honours a firefighter who did not return home from the fireground. Each plaque tells its own story. A story of the service given by a life cut short. A story of the grief that now rests within the families and friends, the neighbours and colleagues of those who have died. We know there has been an empty chair at countless celebrations since their deaths - birthdays and anniversaries missed, trips they would love to have taken, grandchildren never held. We recognise that our current day expertise hasn't originated in today's generation of firefighters. Our skills have grown from the tough lessons learned by those who have fought fires through the generations and from the common sense of those who established local fire brigades - in some cases, more than 150 years ago. The excellent work of fire crews battling the devastating 2009 fires and the fires of 2013 descends in a direct line from the lessons learned from our forebears. Recognising International Firefighters Day is one of the ways their service to CFA and their communities remains alive. We honour their dedication and all we have learned from them. We give thanks to the legacy they have left us. We are inspired by their sacrifice.
The contract for the Regional Radio Dispatch Service (RRDS) was executed last week. The project is a partnership between CFA, Telstra, Motorola Solutions and the Victorian Government. The new digital network will provide regional brigades with direct radio communications to the dispatch operators, and a new generation of high-quality digital dispatch capability across the State. Almost 500 brigades will be the direct beneficiaries of the new network, able to communicate directly with ESTA after they have been dispatched and benefit from clearer radio dispatch coverage. The rollout will begin in November this year and will be available to all regional brigades by mid next year. This will be followed by the training and eventual operational transition for all brigades involved which will be undertaken at a regional level. The new digital network will use newly assigned channels. Fireground and command and control channels are not changing as an outcome of this project. The rollout is part of CFA's switchover to digitally enabled Tait radios which are currently operating on an analogue network, awaiting the introduction of this Regional Radio Dispatch Service. The introduction of this new network will improve crew safety on the fireground in regional and rural Victoria.
Product Safety Recalls:
CFA's hard working Fire Investigation Coordinator, Nicole Harvey, recently advised that an updated version of the Product Safety Recalls Database has been deployed and is now available on the Intranet / Brigades Online at: Fire & Emergencies > Fire Investigation > Product Safety Recalls. The database is available to all CFA members and to the MFB Fire Investigation & Analysis Unit. The Product Safety Recalls Database is updated on a weekly basis by the State Fire Investigation Coordinator. The Product Safety Recalls Database contains records dating back to 1994 of product recalls that specially relate to products (e.g. appliances, equipment, machinery, vehicles, etc...) that have been recalled due to risks such as: arcing / sparking; electric shock; fire; fuel leakage; overheating or not complying with safety standards.
United States Wildfire Leadership:
You may be interested in following the link below to the latest publication of "Two More Chains - Spring 2013 Issue". This issue a close look at how we might want to redefine or reimagine what "training" means to us. In "One of Our Own", there is a feature on the Palomar Hotshot Brandon Opliger who led the effort to document his crew's leadership development program. In "Ground Truths", Travis Dotson explains how you might already be leading without even knowing it. To view this document, click here:
"Optimism is true moral courage"
- Sir Ernest Shackleton