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Warnings, tankers, and radios
Manager of Strategic Communications, Liz Armitage describes how Twitter emergency warnings are being incorporated within the fire agencies “One Source One Message” (OSOM) system. This means that warnings will be published on the CFA Updates Twitter account as soon as they are published on CFA website by OSOM. The Twitter account is also updated by the CFA media team and State Control Centre (SCC) media unit during emergencies.
CFA is also integrating formal SCC notification processes for Total Fire Ban and Fire Danger Ratings to ensure the CFA Facebook page and Twitter account are updated with this information when required. Liz says that there is clear evidence that citizens use social media during emergencies and there is an expectation that emergency services also use new social media. There are risks inherent in the use of any medium for emergency communications, but the risk of using this new social media is less than the risk of not using it. As with all emergency communications, our advice to the community is never to rely on just one medium for critical emergency information (and keep your eyes on the horizon!).
CFA Community Safety Leaders Update Skills:
Ali Martin who works with our Member Engagement Project in Community Safety advises that twelve CFA volunteers and staff attended the NSW Rural Fire Service Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Conference held in Wollongong last weekend. Ali says that this was a great way to “kick start” the CFA’s Member Engagement Project with the development of a team of “champions” from around the State. Volunteers nominated by Regions included Angus Mckenzie (Barwon South West), Damian Baker (Southern Metro), David Webb Ware (Hume), Robyn Gerrard (Grampians), Robert Auchterlonie (Gippsland), Fiona Spargo (NW Metro), Tracey Mastropavlos (Loddon Mallee) and Elissa Jans (Eastern Metro). Four staff including Ali Martin and Melanie Causer from Member Engagement, along with Paul Verbeek, from Hume and Helen Wositzki from Eastern Metro Region also attended. We have high expectations from this talented team in the future!
Concept Heavy Tanker – “Proof Of Concept” Trial Planned:
Many of you will have viewed, operated and driven the CFA’s Concept Heavy Tanker. The truck has a number of distinctive features including: PTO pump; front and side remote (in-cabin) controlled monitors; twin high pressure low volume live hose reels and a new in cabin computer for monitoring critical water and vehicle systems. The overarching concept is to allow firefighters to fight fires from inside the safety and comfort of an air conditioned cabin, rather than from an external crew deck. There has been strong support in many areas for the Concept Heavy Tanker. In some locations, particularly in sandy areas, or where forest and scrub firefighting is common, a number of unresolved questions have been raised about the implementation of the concept. The questions are around: the lack of situational awareness (particularly above and rear vision); the issue of control over the water flow and stream accuracy from the two side remote control mounted monitors; the inability to have crew on the rear deck, should tactics require this; and finally, some unresolved issues around pump and roll operation in certain conditions. It has been resolved that a second stage of the trial will occur. 19 additional Concept Heavy Tankers will be procured which will allow each District to be issued one Concept Heavy Tanker to rigorously trial in an “operational proof of concept” phase of the trial. Further Concept Tanker builds will be dependent on the outcome of phase two of the trial.
Portable Radio Roll Out Suspended:
Manager Communications Doug Booth has advised that, after careful consideration, the delivery of the new portable radios has been suspended so that some performance improvements can be incorporated. The installation program for the mobile radios will not be affected. This decision has been made as a result of feedback from brigades relating to radio performance. CFA is working closely with the manufacturer of the radio to improve the radio audibility performance before any further radios are delivered. Ongoing trials are occurring in 11 brigades in order to ensure the portables meet the needs and expectations of CFA users.
Quote of the week:
"We will either find a way or make one."