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Season's greetings and best wishes for the New Year
With Christmas upon us and a very busy year about to come to a close, I want to take a moment to extend my best wishes, along with those of my Executive colleagues, to you for this festive season and the year ahead.
This time last year as I took to the task of writing a Christmas message, I had only been at CFA a few months and was still getting my head around the ins and outs of the organisation.
Now, a year on, I have learnt a great deal about the organisation's capacity to regain strength, and to grow trust and respect in our community following the 2009 fires.
This year has heralded change in the landscape in which we live and operate. CFA has shown strength in its ability to receive scrutiny, learn important lessons and move forward with better practices in place for the future. Significant change and transformation has begun following the recommendations of the Royal Commission and I thank you for your willingness to embrace this change and ongoing improvement.
We have welcomed many new staff appointments, in particular Euan Ferguson to the role of Chief Officer in November. We are grateful for his experience, wisdom and strong philosophies as our Chief for the coming years.
We also welcomed Craig Lapsley to the newly created role of Fire Services Commissioner. We are working closely with Craig and the other emergency service agencies this fire season.
With all the recent rains and widespread flooding, it's interesting to look back a year when we were already in the thick of the fire season. This reinforces to me how adaptable and flexible we need to be in the face of changing conditions and the diverse nature of emergencies we are involved with.
I know everyone has been working hard in preparation, training, administrative support, community education and emergency response throughout the year and I thank you for your enormous efforts coming into this fire season. I am very proud of all CFA members; and how much they give so their communities may be safer.
Best of luck to you and yours in the year ahead, stay safe, and thank you for all your efforts throughout 2010.