While he is an experienced hand on the fireground, through his 43 years at CFA he has shown an outstanding commitment to excellence and continuous improvement within CFA.
Mr Dale has been lucky enough to experience the “best of both worlds” as a career firefighter at Boronia for 28 years, where he is currently the Senior Station Officer, and as a volunteer at Dandenong for eight years and now Upper Beaconsfield.
His dedication to these brigades, and wider CFA, makes him a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).
Alan said being involved as a career firefighter and a volunteer gave him a good, broad understanding of the organisation and its members.
“As a volunteer I just really loved what I was doing and I was lucky in the sense that I was able to turn that into a career,” he said.
He is often described as an “ideas man” and is able to apply his practical knowledge as he takes an innovative approach to training, equipment and procedures.
Through his work, CFA has implemented a ground observer training package with highly-skilled crews now playing a critical role within the emergency response of the CFA, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Parks Victoria and the State Emergency Service.
Ground observation is a key part of the intelligence that ensures both successful fire suppression and the greater safety of crews on the fire ground through the provision of appropriate resources.
Many CFA staff and volunteers have also received the benefits of Mr Dale’s advocating of skills maintenance packages and a modular industry training package. He is both a mentor and a role model, with a profound understanding that developing others is the key to future success for the CFA.
Alan doesn’t consider his work as “above and beyond” but more a way to get involved and keep busy.
“But it is a real culture at Boronia – we have a lot of firefighters who are really motivated to do more and they feel really passionate about what they do,” he said.
“It’s also a reflection of the wider district. They are very supportive of what we do and we have a good relationship and interaction with them and the brigades – it works really well.”