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National Terrorism Threat Level for police raised to HIGH
In light of recent events in Endeavour Hills here in Victoria and Martin Place in Sydney – as well as overseas in France, Belgium and Canada – the Australian Federal Police Commissioner on 20 January announced that the National Terrorism Threat Level for police has been officially raised to 'HIGH'.
Advice from Victoria Police indicates there is no change to the threat levels for firefighters and this remains at 'LOW'. It is important to note that Victoria Police are not aware, at this stage, of any specific threats here in Victoria. However, it is important that we remain vigilant and continue to take appropriate precautions.
We frequently discuss security and threat levels with Victoria Police Command, Emergency Management Commissioner and other emergency service agencies in order to determine what actions, if any, are required to safeguard the wellbeing of CFA people. The following advice is now provided:
- When attending incidents, exercise heightened vigilance. In the event of any concerns, notify VicFire and ask that police attend, then withdraw to a safe location to await police attendance.
- Some emergency service members have expressed concern that fire services uniforms look similar to Victoria Police uniforms. In recognition of this, CFA members that are concerned, should minimise wearing their uniform when off duty and remove agency lanyards. A further option available is to revert to wearing the CFA light blue shirt (operational staff are reminded that this shirt is not fire rated).
- I remind members to make sure when entering CFA secured premises that doors are properly closed and visitors are properly escorted. Any suspicious activity is to be reported.
- Please consider carefully any posts on social media that may identify you as a CFA member. You should refrain from commenting on current security events and terrorist activities in general.
- Participation in planned community events should continue as usual. If you have any specific concerns you should raise these with your catchment officer or event organisers.
This is a matter that none of us can be complacent about. However, we must exercise our judgement and take reasonable precautions which will be balanced against continuing our day-to-day activities.
I will keep you updated on any developments and provide further information and guidance as it becomes available. Questions should be directed to your catchment officer or immediate supervisor. Thank you.
Euan Ferguson AFSM