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Second Anniversary of the 2009 Black Saturday fires
Monday 7th February will be the second anniversary of the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires. It has been a busy time since 2009. Much has happened. Many of you will be aware of actions and programs that CFA has been implementing in order to meet the recommendations of the 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission. Our goal is to make CFA a better and stronger organisation.
The Black Saturday anniversary will bring a range of reactions, thoughts and memories to many of our people. Many in the CFA "family" still suffer greatly. Many have not yet returned to new homes. Many have a daily struggle through financial and employment loss. Many bear physical and emotional scars that will still be raw and enduring. It is difficult to summon the right words to say to you. You are in our thoughts. We are with you. For many, this is a journey during which you must show great courage, strength and determination. I know that there are many in CFA who look upon the survivors of Black Saturday with enormous respect and admiration. The fact that you have got this far is testament to your personal resilience and "never give up" attitude. Take strength from those around you. We stand alongside you and, with a hand on your shoulder we say: "Hang in there, you are not alone". Be inspired by youth and by the wonder of the regeneration of the Australian bush after fire. As every day dawns, so too are there new opportunities and discoveries. There are many positives in your community and in CFA. I wish you optimism, strength and hope along your journey, a journey that CFA is part of.
Memorial Service In Melbourne:
Just a reminder of the interfaith Service to Remember Black Saturday that is being held at Zinc Space at Federation Square this coming Sunday, 6 February from 3.00 to 4.30pm. The service is open to anyone who would like to attend.
Re-Thinking How We Depict The CFA Hierarchy:
Let's do a re-think about the traditional pyramid way of representing our hierarchy. I have a philosophy that the most important person in the organisation is the newest, youngest person who is at the "front line". And what is the "front line"? It is those men and women who are at the end of the hose, or the rake-hoe or on the stop-go bat or at the community meeting or in our schools. CEO Mick Bourke and the Executive Management Team have discussed re-drawing the CFA organisational structure to reflect firefighters and community educators at the top of our hierarchy. The remainder of the hierarchy is below the front line, supporting and providing resources and offering guidance. If we are doing our job right then that person at the front line should feel well trained, well equipped and well led.
Pat Says Thanks:
Loddon Mallee Regional Manager Pat O'Brien has written to acknowledge the outstanding and critical support provided by CFA IT and Communications staff members to flood response operations within LMR over the last two weeks.
Pat says that:
"The IT / Comms staff members exhibited the highest levels of professionalism at all times. Comms and IT staff members willingly and energetically sought to assist SES with their incident management capability. They have also ensured that, where CFA DivComs were being used in that role by SES, the facilities were functional at all times. This involved significant changes to CFA's IT architecture behind the scenes. I wish to also acknowledge the excellent planning and implementation of contingency IT and operational radio communications arrangements both by IT and Comms staff who have been supporting us in the field and their counterparts in CFA HQ. We have been able to adjust our IT and communications infrastructure setup and arrangements, progressively, to account for the threat posed by the floods. This has been done seamlessly and without any diminution in our C3 capabilities. It has also occurred in an environment where we have had to deal with severe fire weather conditions and make contingent arrangements for a L2 IMT at Kerang. It has been and continues to be a great pleasure to have your staff as members of our District and Regional Command and Coordination teams at Kerang, and subsequently, Swan Hill."
Another example of outstanding effort in CFA - THANK YOU!
Quote of the Week:
"As breathing is to the human body, hope is to the human spirit."
- Margaret Somerville