Firefighter Vish breaks down language barriers at Truganina Fire Brigade

Member News image Vish and his family


Today we mark Harmony Day and the 2024 theme “Everyone Belongs” by speaking to firefighter Vish Annamaneni and his role in ensuring english isn’t a barrier when it comes to fire safety for his community.


Vish Annamaneni joined Truganina Fire Brigade two and a half years ago after seeing the devastation of the 2019/20 bushfires. He has been in Australia for 20 years after migrating from India. 

Vish’s home suburb of Truganina is incredibly diverse, with a large portion of the community newly migrated Australians.  

Vish said that his ability to speak Hindi, Telagu and English means he can communicate to more people about fire safety. 

“It helps me in my community safety role, I can speak to and connect with more people. I also know more about Indian cultural practices and differences in the way we cook and celebrate,” Vish said. 

“In India a lot of people don’t have range hoods, so when they come to Australia there may not be knowledge around how to clean and maintain these and other kitchen appliances.” 

Vish also said there are layers when it comes to understanding those most at risk, with not only language barriers but age too. 

“New migrants may not understand what to do on high fire risk days because of the language and environmental differences here,” he said. 

“Younger members of a family will go off to work and school, but the elderly will stay at home.  

“It would be reassuring in the event of an emergency if those at risk have someone who speaks their language.”  

Vish has a strong sense of community and said he wants to be a role model for others in the Indian community.  

“I would like to see more people from my community join CFA. I think that through being here I can help influence that change here in Truganina. 

“Being in CFA gives me a great sense of satisfaction and opportunity for me to also get to know my community. 

“It does require me to spend time away from my family, but doing it for CFA, I know I am protecting lives and assets for others.”


  • Member News image
Submitted by Courtney Walker