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Planning for summer, thanks for flood support, retirement
Firstly, thank you to the dedicated volunteers and staff who supported the recent flood and storm activities in central and east Gippsland. Whilst the flood was dealt with over a period of approximately one week, we are fully aware that agencies and organisations, including CFA brigades, are continuing to clean up from the storm event that preceded the floods.
We are now into the planning phase for another summer. I encourage all of our groups and brigades to continue with the pre-planning work that you have undertaken in the past. This pre-planning includes fire prevention and community and brigade preparedness. I encourage all brigades, if you haven't already done so, to start planning for summer and discuss this with your group,
operations officer, municipal fire management planning committee, local land managers and, most importantly, your community. Don't be afraid to get out and work with and seek advice from your community on how best to prepare them and yourselves for the coming summer.
I encourage you all to continue with your own personal development through exercising and practising. A key opportunity to do this is by using the Tactical Exercise Without Troops (TEWT) maps that were supplied last year. The feedback I've received from brigades and groups who've used the TEWT maps for training has been extremely positive. At your next brigade or group meeting,
think about what you are planning to discuss and determine if it's really that important. If it isn't, think about how you can better use that time for developing yourselves and your teams. This is operationalising your meetings. Stop talking about the past and start discussing the future. Use the limited time you have together to focus on the important matters.
I also encourage you to use your own internal networks to further progress your preparedness. That is, engage with your neighbouring brigades and groups when planning and preparing. As you all know, bushfires don't burn along administrative boundaries.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support since I returned to Gippsland in October 2010. During this time I have served as the regional commander and, for the past 18 months, the regional director. I have decided to retire from CFA to spend more time with my family and continue other interests. My time as the Regional Director has been enjoyable and I leave knowing that a very capable team is in place, and with a high level of
comfort that through the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Mick Bourke and Chief Officer Euan Ferguson, CFA is a great organisation to be involved with.