News & Media

Operation Western Impact - A Success!

  • Syndicates discuss their planning
  • Making sure things are going to plan!
  • ACO Rohan Luke addresses the syndicates

By: Libby Symons

Category: Other

  4.38 PM 30 December, 2016

Location: District 7 News, General

Views: 1810

On Thursday 15 December 2016, representatives from CFA, Victoria Police, Forest Fire Management, Golden Plains Shire, City of Greater Geelong, VicRoads, DHHS and Powercor converged at Corio Fire Station to participate in ‘Operation Western Impact’ – a scenario developed and based on fire behaviours of past catastrophic events, such as Western District fires (1977), Ash Wednesday (1983) and several major fires on 14 January 1985.

The scenario, scripted by Belmont Fire Brigade 1st Lieutenant, Robin Parsons, was targeted at personnel from CFA and supporting organisations at a strategic decision making level, in the event of major emergencies.  The purpose was to consider the roles, expectations and desired actions of all agencies and supporting organisations in the event of a fast moving grassfire impacting the Western urban/rural interface of Geelong, after a ‘traditional’ South Westerly wind change on a day of extreme of code red fire danger. 

On the day, participants were broken into syndicates, ensuring an even mix of agencies, roles and skill sets.  Facilitated by Operations Officer Mark Sinkinson, maps and situational inputs were provided to syndicates as the incident progressed and changed.  At each stage, interesting conversations were generated, as each agency identified their own priorities, forward planning issues, resource limitations and the like – whilst taking into consideration the State Strategic Control priorities.

Overall, the scenario was well received by all participants, and was quite timely given the seasonal outlook for this summer.  It certainly put into perspective, the risk and potential impacts within the urban/rural interface of Geelong that may have not previously been considered with this emphasis.  Not only did it give agencies an opportunity to look at their own planning, preparedness and a practical understanding of their capacity to be able manage an incident of this type, it also fostered vital networking and relationship building, which in turn should aid in streamlining operations now that we are familiar with the key players we are working with!


Last Updated: 03 January 2017