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Well done Werribee, equipment news, TPPs
Last weekend, the Werribee Brigade competed in the World and Australasian Road Rescue Championships held in Wellington, New Zealand. Late last night, we received advice from 1st Lt Daryl Wells that the Brigade had an outstanding set of results:
• 1st in the Australasian Championships, (retaining their title).
• 2nd in the World Titles, entitling them to compete at the world championships in London in 2012.
• Best Paramedic for Australasia - Captain Michael Wells.
• Won best Paramedic for the World titles - Captain Michael Wells.
This is a fantastic result! Congratulations to all involved and to their supporters!
State forum for Community Safety for Volunteers:
Ali Martin from the Member Engagement Project advises of a Forum for Community Safety on 15-16 October. The state forum aims to build volunteer capacity and capability to deliver the Bushfire Safety Policy messages. Our emergency management and community engagement models have significantly changed since Black Saturday. This is all part of continuing the skills development of our front line people to ensure we build resilient and self reliant communities. This is a great opportunity to not only support and reward some of our volunteers for their great work in this area, but to also develop a stronger and enlarged team of "volunteer community safety champions" around the State.
Township Protection Plans Enhanced:
Project Manager Paul Harris has summarised changes to Township Protection Plans (TPP's). The new template has evolved significantly from last season as a result of direction from the Implementation Monitor, feedback and "new thinking" from brigades, communities and partners. Both the template and planning process aims to reflect planning with communities through:
• Increasing the level of community engagement in the planning process;
• Making Township Protection Plans more action-oriented and tailored to local circumstances; and
• Documenting local activities in the "prepare, act, survive" phases.
Progress On Portable Radio Fixes:
Recently I reported that a number of issues had been identified with the functionality and audio volume of new portable radios. CFA has worked with OHS representatives to develop a range of "fixes" for a number of problems. Examples of the problems encountered included low audio volume in noisy situations; difficulty using the Press To Talk (PTT) whilst wearing gloves; and low audio following water spray exposure. Ray Brash and Tony Bearzatto, of CFA's Asset Management Services have worked with our members and the radio supplier to develop a number of "fixes" that include: developing new radio "firmware" that results in increased audio volume; introducing an audio alert "beep" when the PTT is activated; and improving the water shedding ability of the radio case. Further work is occurring on developing a turnout jacket accessory and activating scan mode.
Recently I was asked about the "life" of CFA structural helmets. Operations Manager Barry Foss has advised that the CFA structural helmet is certified to both AS/NZS4067 and EN443. There is no working life mentioned in the AS/NZS Standard. The helmet manufacturer's brochure refers to obsolescence insofar as the helmet can be expected to remain in service for up to 25 years, when it is not damaged. The manufacturer's recommendation is to conduct an inspection and maintenance regime involving regular checks. About 3 years ago CFA conducted a series of tests (in accordance with the standard) on 10+ year old decommissioned Structural helmets. These helmets were from high use areas. All helmets met the performance requirements of the tests. This test regime confirmed that the Kevlar/fibreglass shell in the CFA helmet is extremely durable.
Quote of the week:
"When I took a decision of adopted an alternative, it was after studying everything relevant - and many an irrelevant factor. Geography, tribal structure, religion, social customs, language, appetite, standards - all were at my finger-ends. The enemy I knew like my own side."
- T.E. Lawrence.