CFA helps care workers help vulnerable people

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Pouring rain didn’t deter people from attending a CFA bushfire planning session on Friday 1 October 2021.


The session was hosted by National Disability Services (NDS) and targeted a specific and important audience of disability support and care workers and their managers. This workforce provides in-home support for people who have a disability and also live in high-risk bushfire areas.    

People who have a permanent or significant disability are at a much greater risk in a bushfire and house fire. CFA’s Preparing Vulnerable People (PVP) project aims to improve fire preparedness planning for people who are at greatest risk and considered vulnerable. By working closely with NDS, we can reach the workforce that provides daily support to people in their homes.  

More than 35 people attended the 90-minute “Bushfire Planning – How to Support your Clients” online Zoom session on Friday.

“It was a very valuable session as more than ever this workforce needs to understand emergency planning,” Eugene Liston from NDS said. “The session allowed for discussion and to practise some scenarios, along with learning how to build a bushfire plan with a client.” 

Care providers are in a unique position to engage their clients about all aspects of their safety, including fire safety, so it’s important for CFA to train the providers and their staff. As part of the PVP project, CFA has developed a free training package for care providers. 

CFA District 13 Community Engagement Facilitator Ben Cash delivered the training.

“The session created some good discussion, especially about convincing people of the merits of leaving early,” Ben said, “and there are extra considerations in planning for people who live with a disability, such as assistive technology, personal supports and assistance animals. 

“However, it’s also important to remember that people living with a disability manage every day with challenging circumstances and bushfire planning is just another challenge.”

The training CFA offers focuses on people-centred conversations to improve bushfire planning and preparedness. It arms care providers with the questions and prompts to help support these conversations with their clients.

CFA will be promoting this training to care providers this fire season.

To find out more visit the CFA website.


Submitted by News and Media