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Volunteers getting the message out
Finding new ways of getting the fire safety message out to the community is a constant challenge for CFA.
Everybody does their bit: the district staff, the career firefighters and particularly the volunteers.
They run Fire Safe Kids Sessions, Bushfire Planning Workshops, Fire Ready Victoria meetings and a whole range of other programs and activities all designed to inform the public.
Whittlesea/Diamond Valley Group uses all these avenues, but every now and then you need something a little different. DGO Mike Chapman chairs a committee of Brigade Community Safety Coordinators and other interested members who try to come up with new ways of getting the fire safety message into the community.
For a number of years there have been problems with community members not being aware of the start of the fire danger period. All the usual local paper advertisements and fire station signs were used every year, but the message wasn’t getting through. Mike’s team came up with the idea of putting magnetic signs on CFA vehicles to advertise that the FDP was in place. Nillumbik Shire council thought this was such a good idea that they had signs made for their trucks too!
Did they work? It is a bit hard to tell because of the relatively benign fire season, but illegal burnoffs and other deliberately lit fires during the FDP in Nillumbik were way down on previous years, and much lower than a neighbouring municipality.
Members of the community are much safer in the Whittlesea/Diamond Valley Group thanks to the efforts of the volunteers who make community safety their priority. After all, isn’t it better to stop the fire from starting than trying to put it out when it is going?
Thanks Mike and your team.