CFA's Vegetation Management Program: As part of the response to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations, funding has been allocated to a Vegetation Management Program. The program provides support and capacity to Brigades to plan and undertake fire prevention works on behalf of, or in partnership with land holders and land managers in the country area of Victoria. CFA now has 14 Vegetation Management Officers (VMOs) across the state, and a small team at Headquarters. VMOs work to ensure that fire management works undertaken by brigades and members of the community are planned and conducted safely, and in accordance with legislation. This approach to vegetation management fits naturally into an integrated fire management planning framework and takes account of other land management considerations. Fire prevention is vital work. Fuel is a key factor in fire behaviour. More importantly though, fuel is the one factor that we can reduce and mitigate before a fire starts. The work of the Vegetation Management officers interacts with other activities, such as Advice to Property Owners and statutory land use planning work. Keep up the good work.
2011 Annual Memorial Service for fire fighters:
On Sunday 1st May, the 2011 Annual Memorial Service for fire-fighters will take place at Fiskville. I invite and encourage you and your families to join me in remembering and acknowledging our fire-fighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the service, dedication and sacrifice made by firefighters across the world every hour of every day. In recent years this service has been held on the closest Sunday to 4 May, which is both International Firefighters Day and St. Florian's Day (St. Florian is the Patron Saint of Firefighters). More details regarding the memorial are available online at: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/history/memorial_service.htm.
AIIMS Manual Under Review:
AFAC, the national body representing fire and emergency service agencies has advised that work has started on drafting a 4th Edition to the AIIMS manual. It is planned that the revision will be in two parts: a more detailed section on principles and doctrine; and a set of appendices addressing hazard specific application of the system (eg; bushfire, structure fire, terrorist event). The 4th edition will strike a balance between issues raised by police services in an endeavour to gain their further support without alienating fire and emergency service personnel. Amongst other matters, DCO Geoff Conway advises that the 4th edition will make reference to the principles of mission command and decision making processes. The list of AIIMS functions will be expanded to include Information, Intelligence and Investigation (in addition to Control, Operations, Planning and Logistics) with a stronger statement about the importance of developing and adapting an Incident Management structure that tis relevant to the incident. There will be additional development of the Deputy IC role and how this works.
Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme 2011-12:
Applications are now open (until 13 May) for the 2011-12 round of the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme funded by the Commonwealth Government. The Grants Scheme aims to enhance Victoria's resilience to natural disasters through a range of mitigation works and other measures that contribute to safer, sustainable communities better able to withstand the effects of disasters. The application form and guidelines may be downloaded from www.oesc.vic.gov.au.
State Junior Rural Championships:
Last weekend was the State Senior and Junior Rural Championships at Werribee Park. The number of juniors, their ability, determination and optimism was inspiring. Well done to all who competed and thanks to Colin Squires (Truganina) and his willing band of organisers.
Quote of the week:
"It is at night that faith in light is most admirable."
- Edmond Rostrand