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New program supports members
More than 30 brigade members in CFA’s Barwon South West Region are ready to carry out the Property Advice Visit Service (PAVS) for residents living in some of the highest fire risk areas of Victoria.
Barwon South West Region took the 34 members through the new program, designed to support brigade members who would like to provide straightforward, high priority advice to residents at their homes.
The members (some of whom had never tried their hand at community engagement) gave positive feedback about the training, saying it had given them the skills, knowledge, and confidence to deliver key basic bushfire messages one-to-one at someone’s home.
Fire Safety Officer Philip O’Keefe delivered the training and will now continue to support the members on an ongoing basis.
“This group are already volunteer firefighters in the local community and have a good understanding of the fire risk in that area,” Philip said.
“They will be able to incorporate this knowledge with their understanding of bushfire behaviour to provide valuable advice to homeowners and occupiers.”
PAVS focuses on fire risk and preparation for people who live in identified very high and extreme risk areas. CFA members carrying out the service start by making sure residents understand the level of risk where they live before encouraging them to plan ahead according to fire weather.
CFA members carrying out the visits use a checklist to undertake a quick property assessment (or leave a form with the resident so they can do it themselves) and provide basic bushfire mitigation tips for the property.
Extensive CFA mapping has identified homes that are located less than 150 metres from the bush in areas deemed to be of ‘extreme’ or ‘very high’ fire risk. Brigade members can work from this data or use their local knowledge of bush or grassfire risk to deliver PAVS at other homes.
Members interested in learning more about PAVS can contact the Community Education Coordinator at their CFA regional office for more information.