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Where is the Chief Officer...
Where Is The Chief Officer?:Many of you will be asking: "Why haven't I seen the Chief Officer yet?" As I said when I started, I will make it a priority to get around and meet people early. So, if you are in Headquarters, don't be surprised if I am an apology at your meeting. If you are in a District, be patient - I'm on my way. Over the last 7 weeks I've been pleased to meet with CFA staff and volunteers at Castlemaine, Geelong, Colac, Hamilton, Penshurst, Fiskville, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Arthur's Creek, Kinglake West, Kinglake, Sassafras-Ferny Creek, Yarra Valley, Warrandyte South, Kangaroo Ground, Kilmore East, Hilldene, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Myrtleford, Mudgegonga and Tarrawingee.
Friday December 31 - Total Fire Ban Declaration:
On New Years Eve, Total Fire Bans were declared across six fire weather districts and CFA crews across the state responded to a total of 206 incidents, two of which were significant. Crews turned out to a fire in Boolite that was started by sparks from farm machinery and burnt 100 hectares. Twelve CFA fire trucks and 50 firefighters attended including members from Warracknabeal, Boolite, Rupanyup, Sheep Hills and Minyip. On the same day, firefighters fought a blaze at a Clunes shooting range that burnt up to 10 hectares. Crews did an excellent job containing flames within an hour after more than 20 vehicles and two aircraft were sent to the fire. A fantastic response by our members and thank you to all involved.
Response To Flooding - Support To SES:
During the period 27 November to 13 December CFA had many responses as a result of flooding from heavy rainfall and above average stream flow. Moderate to major flooding was experienced in Grampians, Loddon Mallee and Hume Regions. CFA assisted SES in sandbagging, swift water rescue, traffic control and pumping. CFA also supported Level 3 Incident Management Teams at Horsham, Bendigo and Wangaratta. Reports back have been that SES, VicPol and CFA teams worked extremely well together.
State Fire Control Team Briefings:
The State Fire Control Team is comprised of the Fire Services Commissioner, Chief Officers of CFA, MFB, DSE, and Deputy Commissioner Security and Emergency Management VicPol. During December briefings were held between the State Fire Control Team and Level 3 Incident Controllers. These briefings were convened at Warragul, Fiskville and Shepparton. A final briefing of Regional Controllers was held in Melbourne. All briefings had strong attendance from CFA, DSE, MFB and VicPol. The briefings used a scenario based on the Maiden Gully fire of 7 February 2010. Thanks to O/M Mark Gilmore and DC/O Geoff Conway for putting these briefings together. Issues discussed in these briefings will be the focus of the State Fire Control Team over the next 2 weeks.
State Fire Control Team Policies:
Through the Fire Services Commissioner and the Chief Officers of CFA and DSE, eighteen Joint Standard Operating Procedures (JSOP) have been developed and approved. Key JSOP's include:
• Readiness of Incident Management Teams;
• Incident Action Planning; Safety Officer;
• Appointment of Incident Controllers;
• Traffic Management During Bushfires;
• Evacuation During Bushfires and
• Incident Information and Warnings.
Other documents recently approved by the Fire Services Commissioner include: Delegations (to Chief Officers of CFA, DSE and MFB) of functions, powers and duties under the Fire Services Commissioner Act; Bushfire Safety Policy framework; State Command and Control Arrangements for Bushfire in Victoria. Finally, the Fire Services Commissioner has issued a "State Controller's Intent". The intent includes:
• Protection and preservation of life is paramount;
• Issuing of community information and community warnings;
• Protection of critical infrastructure and community assets;
• Protection of residential property;
• Protection of assets supporting individual livelihoods & economic production; and
• Protection of environmental and conservation values.
Quote of the week:
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."