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Latest flood news
Flood Relief Operations: As I write 3,500 people on 1,408 properties in 46 townships across 21 Municipalities have been affected by recent flooding in the west and central parts of Victoria. SES has logged nearly 5,500 requests for assistance and have performed 50 flood rescues. CFA has been strongly supporting SES on the ground, in local command, Division Command, Incident Management and at a State level. There have been dramatic actions, including one near Gordon where CFA, Vic Police, Ambulance and local famers were directly responsible for rescuing a youth who was trapped in a drain in rising flood waters. CFA is working as part of an integrated team with a range of emergency services and local government. A number of CFA facilities have been affected, including flooding at the Rochester Fire station and damage sustained to a number of firefighting vehicles. This has been a resounding team effort. It is not yet over. In the next few days we will see Horsham and Kerang come under pressure. We pause to think of the many people - and there will be CFA and SES volunteers amongst them - who have been affected by these floods. There will be a slow and long recovery. To everyone who has pitched in and helped - at any level and in any capacity: "THANK YOU! AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!" CFA is in constant contact with SES in Victoria and also is monitoring the situation in Queensland. We are constantly assessing if CFA has a capability to offer and where appropriate are making that offer to the control agencies.
CFA USAR Team Members In Queensland:
Last week I saw three CFA Urban Search and Rescue trained members off from Melbourne Airport to assist with flood operations in Queensland. They were part of an integrated team from agencies including MFB and Vic SES. Every state and territory has USAR members involved in searching and assessing debris and buildings. I am sure you will join with me in expressing my condolences to those who have lost family and friends in the Queensland floods. The scenes of water rushing through Toowoomba were shocking, awesome and gut wrenching.
I have watched closely the way the Queensland community has rallied around their mates in the aftermath of the flood emergency. On Saturday as the flood started to recede from Brisbane we saw the Government put in place very quickly a volunteer registration system. The numbers of people who donned safety boots and vests and carried brooms and shovels and power tools (I'm sure I even saw some rake-hoes there!) to volunteer to help their neighbours with the clean-up was a great symbol of Aussie mateship at its best. Resilience is the ability of a community to "bounce-back" after an event. In the coming days and weeks and months and years those people affected in every state subjected to flooding will need our support and assistance. I urge you to give generously and support the recovery effort in every way possible.
Tanker Burnover Safety Retro-fit:
Recently the Deputy Chiefs and I participated in a burnover drill using the recently retro-fitted Mt Evelyn Tanker. The retro-fit has been engineered and installed by DMO Peter Hill and Andrew Webb from CFA Asset Management services. Retro-fitting consists of adding flame proof drop-down curtains to the inside of windows and a deluge spray system in a "halo" around the cabin roof. For tankers with Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), there is an extendable "awning" that also has a drop down curtain and again is protected by a spray system. The roll-out of these retro-fits will commence later this year.
Fire Services Commissioner Website:
The Fire Services Commissioner has established a web presence at: www.firecommisioner.vic.gov.au. This initiative will assist in bringing the role and workings of the Fire Services Commissioner to agency members and the community.
Quote of the week:
"Good decisions come from wisdom, knowledge and experience. Wisdom, knowledge and experience come from bad decisions."