How the private and government sector can better work together during emergency incidents

CFA’s Manager Incident Management Systems Luke Heagerty has shone a light on how the private sector and government agencies can better work together by completing his Emergency Services Foundation (ESF) scholarship, awarded in 2018.


Luke is awarded his scholarship with CFA Deputy Chief Officer, Alen Slijepcevic

As a part of his study Luke travelled to the United States and the United Kingdom to explore how incident management takes place in collaboration with the private sector. The idea behind Luke’s study was to better understand how the private sector can become a better partner to government agencies to collaborate and learn from and to understand the role that the private sector can play in the modern emergency management environment.

Strong models of success are currently in operation in parts of the United States and United Kingdom, where organisations have an ongoing relationship with government organisations before, during and after emergencies. 

“As a part of my research I found that each model is unique and adaptive. These types of successful models require an ongoing relationship that is both well managed and nurtured to ensure trust is built between both government and private organisations,” Luke said.

“By having this relationship, it means during times of emergency, this partnership is already established to utilise and best support affected communities.”

Luke was one of two CFA staff awarded in last year’s round. The second recipient, Geoff Ranzenhofer, Senior Station Officer at Greenvale, studied the practical fire investigation training at sites in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The scholarship funds research by emergency services personnel to improve an aspect of emergency response and management in Victoria.

All scholarship applications must be fully endorsed by agency heads, confirming the benefits that would flow to the agency and the sector more broadly if their nominee is successful.

For more information on applying, visit Scholarship Applications. To view reports and research generated by previous scholarship recipients visit Scholarship Recipient Reports. For a full list of alumni and scholarship topics go to

Author: Dharni Giri