Chief Officer's Commendations to Melton Six: This week it was my pleasure to recognise six members of the Melton Fire Brigade with Chief Officer's Commendations. SO Jason Hirt, LFF Daniel Baker, VFF's Belinda Phillips, Alexia Cooney, Trevor Rickards and Paul Strachan were recognised for their actions in averting a tragedy associated with a house fire on 16th September 2010 at Comic Court Melton. The timely actions of the crew resulted in a quick knockdown of the fire and subsequent discovery, assessment, removal and treatment of a casualty from the building. The actions of the crew played a significant part in his survival. The situation presented itself with several complexities, which were successfully managed. For their actions, each member was awarded a letter of Chief Officer's Commendation. Congratulations to the Melton six on a difficult job done well!
Ultra-Light Tanker Burnover Tests:
Manager Research and Development David Nichols and DCO John Haynes report that CFA, in conjunction with AFAC agencies, Bushfire CRC, NSW Rural Fire Service and CSIRO has conducted very successful destructive burnover tests on an ultra light tanker. The tests were conducted at the RFS facility at Mogo in NSW. Both Class A foam and Gel were tested and proved to be effective in protecting the tanker cabs within the limitations of the test procedures. CSIRO will be providing a detailed report on the test results. David advises that a guest observer from the US Forest Service also attended. The intent is to improve burnover crew safety on this class of vehicle.
CFA Recruit Course 1 of 2011:
Last week 25 new CFA recruits commenced their 3 month course under the watchful eye of Operations Officer and Senior Instructor Scott Purdey and staff at Fiskville. At a course dinner this week I was very impressed to hear that the course has developed its own set of values and a mission statement that centres on all the recruits being successful. The values that the course have developed for themselves include: Family; Trust; Loyalty; and Respect. Their mission statement is "Teamwork, Dedication and Trust = 25 Level 1 Firefighters." Great motivation Course 1/2011! We wish the course and the instructors every success over the coming weeks.
CFA On Display At Airshows DownUnder 2011:
The Avalon Airshow has ended and has been extremely successful for Geelong, Victoria and the Nation! Over 240 career staff and volunteers participated in a duty roster over the week long event. The CFA role was very well managed by LFF Adrian Bryan, Training Coordinator Chris Beasley and the team. The planning and operations throughout the week was first class. Last Friday Area Manager Bob Barry and I inspected the on-duty volunteers and career staff crewing the four "fire stations" established for the event. CFA has once again been seen in a highly professional light by other emergency services, Airshows Downunder, the Australian Defence Force and by the other key stakeholders involved with this international event.
LACES And Dangerous Trees:
CFA has recently sent a brochure "LACES and Hazardous Trees" to every members home. The dangers of hazardous trees were exemplified by the tragic death of Firefighter David Balfour from ACT, and a very serious injury to a South Australian firefighter during the 2009 bushfire campaign. Falling trees and limbs can be unforgiving. The brochure contains practical advice to increase situational awareness about falling tree hazards. LACES stands for "Lookouts; Situational Awareness; Communication; Escape Routes; and Safety Zones". LACES was developed by the late Paul Gleeson (US Forest Service) in the mid 1990's. It summarizes and simplifies the content of the "18 Watch Out Situations" and the "Ten Standard Fire Orders". LACES is a very useful tool to use as part of a system of dynamic risk assessment.
Quote of the week:
"I dream of men who take the next step, instead of worrying about the next thousand steps."
- Theodore Roosevelt