To help develop stronger relationships between fire agencies in the Dandenong Ranges, over the past few years Parks Victoria’s Melbourne Fire and Emergency Program (MFEP), has been hosting interactive CFA brigade familiarisation events to improve the way all agencies work together by developing a stronger understanding of each other’s fire planning and response operations.
This year MFEP working with its other FFMVic partners hosted a workshop for CFA Dandenong Ranges Group members, CFA Planned Burning Project, CFA Vegetation Management Officers and FFMVic staff to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s community engagement and forest fuel management activities and identify opportunities to work together into the future.
The social evening included a workshop to identify high risk areas for bushfire and priority areas for fuel reduction works and engaging local communities in the Dandenong Ranges. The information collected has been digitised using innovative ArcGis software called “Collector” and will build on successive workshops to provide a shared picture of where we currently engage with communities, where we are not engaging and should be and where we might be able to work together to better engage with communities.
The workshop concluded with a brainstorm session on identifying actions to improve how the agencies can work together with communities. The actions discussed included: using a joint agency approach to community engagement, more education (agency to agency) about what we do for the community, introduce new programs that focus on addressing embers and spotting, use mapping as a tool to help community understand bushfire risks and to hold joint community forums and operational activities such as field tours and scenario exercises.
Author: Planned Burning Project