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I've only been here a few months and I'm yet to see out my first summer, but I do feel like I'm beginning to understand what makes CFA tick. The veterans among you are probably tired of hearing that CFA is all about the people. I'm sure for many of you it's a well-worn cliché.
But please indulge me a little for my first Christmas at CFA and let me thank you for your efforts over a very tough year. Efforts that have, in my short time so far, made me proud of you, proud of what you've achieved and proud to be part of this organisation.
Okay, so now let's go back to the facts. The spotlight's been on us. Last week, when we faced our first major fire threat, we had some technical problems getting warnings on to our website and we have worked hard to ensure they won't come up again.
But that shouldn't overshadow the great work you did right across the state. There were more than 110 incidents last Wednesday, including 27 grass fires in extreme conditions. When needed, you responded. And you responded well.
No doubt, there will be more fires this season and the next couple of days could challenge us again. I know you've all been working extremely hard to prepare. And I hope that you also are proud of what you've achieved in preparation, in training, in community education and in administrative support.
All the best for 2010 and thanks for your support.