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Thanks for all your work
The new year has dawned and our crews are well and truly in the thick of it.
Dramatic fires around Victoria demonstrate once again what an unpredictable and destructive beast fire is. Fire also has a terrible sense of timing with some members called away from the Christmas lunch table and kept away, in some cases, until after midnight.
Unfortunately some members lost more than a shared meal at the Christmas table. To all those members who have lost fencing, stock and buildings, it’s a devastating blow to livelihoods.
The road to recovery can be long, taking its toll on the most robust individuals and families.
For many years now, CFA has offered its members and their families support through the Member Assistance Program which can be accessed by calling 1300 795 711. This free, confidential service helps people work through issues affecting their mental health or wellbeing.
While many members have found either face-to-face or over-the-phone counselling an effective way to manage their mental health, the program also now offers an alternative.
Skills for Psychological Recovery was developed as a result of the findings which came out of communities recovering from the impact of Hurricane Katrina in the USA. Over up to six phone consultations, a psychologist will help you develop skills to manage and/or resolve the issue troubling you. This may include building coping and problem-solving skills; building healthy social connections; developing strategies to promote improved relationships and promoting work/life balance.
The health and safety of all our members is CFA’s highest priority.
Firefighting is a strenuous and sometimes dangerous job. Please task yourselves according to your health and fitness levels, particularly in very hot weather. Heat-related illness, including exhaustion, is a very real danger. Please ensure that you are well hydrated on high fire danger days. It will benefit you even if you’re not called out.
To those of you on the Victorian front-line who protect lives and property, responding from our fire stations day and night, thank you for your professionalism and community commitment. We hear reports of packed community meetings in fire-affected communities and firefighters greeted with wildly-enthusiastic applause when they attend. Know that the respect and gratitude of Victorians and all CFA leaders goes with you as you go about your CFA tasks.