Take Care driving CFA Vehicles:
Last week Berwick Pumper was involved in a serious accident whilst travelling Code 1 to a job. The pumper collided with a vehicle whilst traversing a controlled intersection. As a result of the accident two members of the public were hospitalised. In recent months, there have been a number of serious accidents involving CFA vehicles travelling under emergency conditions. It is worthy to reinforce that the safety of a CFA vehicle, its occupants and that of other road users is the responsibility of the driver. Code 1 driving is always an inherently dangerous activity. Situational awareness, adjusting driving to weather and road conditions and maintaining vehicle control at all times are all critical to safe driving.
The New Zealand Earthquake:
Our hearts go out to those affected by the New Zealand earthquake. I have passed on our thoughts and condolences to Mike Hall, the National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service. The Urban Search and Rescue response from Queensland and New Zealand has evoked a number of questions as to why a Victorian team was not dispatched. Under an International USAR plan, Australia has two international teams only. These are Queensland and New South Wales. Other state teams are intended for domestic use in the first instance. Please be assured that CFA has been part of a comprehensive plan developed to offer resources and capability to New Zealand, should a request occur. Regional Manager Trevor Andrews, from the NZFS, who has been on secondment with CFA since October last year has been an important information link to New Zealand. At this stage a contingent of Police from Victoria and Australia has been requested and DSE are sending a small number of logistics personnel to set up a base camp as a contingency for emergency service personnel at Christchurch. We are ready to be part of an integrated support force if a request is made.