News & Media

Toastmasters, AFAC, Fire Danger Rating system funding

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 13 August, 2012

Views: 3531

Speaking With Confidence:
Last week, along with Regional Director David Baker, Operations Manager David Renkin, DCO Steve Warrington and Executive Manager Community Capability Terry Hayes, I was privileged to attend the presentation of the Charter to the District 13 Toastmasters Club at Lilydale.

The intent of Toastmasters is to build on the public speaking skills and confidence of members.  When you think of it, this is a great alliance.  CFA members often have to speak in Brigade or other CFA forums and sometimes in public forums.  Confident communication is a key aspect of leadership.  Getting your message across, clearly, succinctly, but with the passion to move people's hearts and souls, is a rare skill that we can all strive to improve.  The evening was run along the lines of a Toastmaster meeting, resulting in a number of (impromptu) presentations being critically (but thoughtfully) analysed.  (For what it's worth, the analysis of my effort included "Needs more practice"...  and more "Umm's and Arrgh's" than I'd care to admit!).  A great initiative.  Congratulations to President Evan Thomas, Chair for the evening Tarryn Campbell, and the 20 founding CFA members.  I commend the concept.

John Lloyd Takes Over Fire Equipment Maintenance:
With the retirement of Bill McIntosh, we are pleased to announce that John Lloyd has taken on the role of manager of the Fire Equipment Maintenance service.   This is an important role for those Brigades who undertake this work in many Victorian businesses and communities.

CFA Participates In AFAC - Bushfire CRC National Incident Management Study In France:
Recently DCO John Haynes and Doctrine Project Officer Dr Claire Johnson travelled to France to compare and contrast the training, exercising and implementing of Incident Management Teams on major bushfires.  The tour examined French ‘best practices" including three dimensional bushfire suppression simulators.  The study tour was sponsored by AFAC and the Bushfire CRC with other attendees including Dr Christine Owen (University of Tasmania), and agency representatives from SACFS, Fire Services Commissioner, NSW RFS, New Zealand Fire Service, and NSW SES, with the contingent hosted by the Bouches-du-Rhône Fire Brigade in Marseille.  Using the 3D fire suppression simulator located at France's national research dissemination and training centre, the international research collaboration participated in forest fire exercises, allowing for differences in organisation, tactics and decision-making processes to be observed and discussed. Dr Owen and Dr Johnson, with the assistance of French researcher Dr Renaud Vidal, observed the exercises to research the comparative strategies employed and the way the different teams functioned.  The data collected during the exercises will be further analysed and a report prepared for the AFAC AIIMS committee. The research will also assist in identifying additional areas of mutual interest for ongoing collaboration between the Bushfire CRC and the Bouchesdu-Rhône Fire Brigade.

Township Protection Plans - Transition to "Community Information Guides":
Executive Manager Community Capability Terry Hayes advises that following a number of discussions with the Bushfire Implementation monitor, Mr Neil Comrie OA APM, CFA is proposing to adopt the term "Community Information Guide" rather than the term "Township Protection Plan".  This will support the principles that these documents are a guide (rather than a "plan" per se); and in the future will embrace a broader all agency - all risk approach.  Importantly, the new name reinforces that these documents should be owned and developed at the local (community) level - rather than being perceived as "corporately owned" documents.  The current stock of TPP's will still be relevant, but as they are updated, and new documents produced, the new name and approach will be adopted.

Funding for a new Fire Danger Rating System:
The Federal Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management has written to the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre advising of a successful funding application for a project: Development of a new National Fire Danger Rating System for Australia (FDR).  This is a welcome announcement, but the funding is for 2012-13 only, so it falls short of the longer term fire and emergency research institute proposal that we continue to strive for.

"If you realised how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought."

-  Peace Pilgrim 

Last Updated: 10 December 2015