Science protecting firefighters – a CFA National Science Week profile

Did you know CFA employs scientists and technical experts to help us better understand bushfires?

During National Science Week we’re celebrating some of the inspiring people we work with who use science to make a very real difference to Victorian communities.


CFA Manager of Asset Performance Sreten Landolac helps analyse and research different materials to ensure CFA firefighters have the best protection available.

“The personal protective equipment and clothing (PPE&C) used by CFA undergo scientific test so they adhere to standards,” he says.

“These tests can incorporate physics, chemistry, math and engineering to make sure our firefighters are properly protected.”

While Sreten says he’s not a scientist, his background is in science and that knowledge is crucial in his current position.

“I love watching the science behind how products are not only developed but especially how they perform, very satisfying.”

 “I studied physics and computing and then went through different applied science roles including testing the flammability of different materials, which led to working with CFA.”

Part of Sreten’s job is working with a variety of manufacturers to compare different products in different situations.

“For example with new gas suits or splash suits, we might look at the types of chemicals our members have been exposed to over the years, then see what the top ten or top 100 are, then look at materials from different manufacturers and see how they perform against those chemicals.”

Sreten says it’s important to recognise the many roles science plays in people’s lives, and recommends it as a fantastic field of study.

“The world needs scientists, so whether you’re studying chemistry, engineering, math, physics, any of those subjects, it helps for the future because science is everywhere.

“If you’re interested in a science field, it can take you to another world and it’s just fantastic.”

Author: CFA Media