This following report is an accompaniment to the inaugural District 14 Operations video report below.
The second anniversary of the tragic events of Black Saturday is here; members are asked to keep an eye on themselves and other members in the brigade to ensure everyone is coping as best as they can—please do not hesitate to contact support via the Peers or RDO if required.
Thanks to all crews who assisted and provided support to our neighbours up north recently with flood recovery; we may get further requests for assistance as the extent of the damage becomes clear. With more heavy rain forecast this weekend we may need to ramp up our support.
It’s stating the obvious, but—crew leaders please be aware of issues to do with flooding and appliances, as well as accessing paddocks to tackle grass fires, which may still be very wet underfoot—please remind all appliance drivers.
Personnel issued with the new PPC are reminded of the potential heat stress issues; a reminder to all to watch the CFA DVD recently issued outlining correct procedures for hydration.
On days of (Forest) FDI of 35 and above, there will be at least eight personnel operating out of the Kangaroo Ground ICC, with a key focus on community warnings.
Many thanks to those brigades and people that committed to changing the FDR signs on a regular basis; we hope to streamline the process over the next few weeks but at the moment are relying on info being paged out to all.
The District 14 Operations Workgroup (Sub committee of the District Planning Committee) is due to meet again on Tuesday 8 February at Greenvale Fire Station.
Key Infrastructure projects
As many members would know, the new station at Whittlesea is nearly finished and the brigade is about to commence operations from the new site. A date for an official launch is currently being worked on.
The Radio Replacement rollout is about to commence and brigades via Groups should have their allocation of radios confirmed within the next few weeks.
Eight heavy pumpers are beginning to roll out through the District; these should all be commissioned within the next few months following significant training and familiarisation work on these sophisticated pieces of equipment. We have negotiated to retain one of the ‘new’ Pumper Tankers and this will be allocated to Truganina brigade due to the growth issues in that part of the region.
With the appliance rollout, we will progress the replacement of 64/5 mm hose couplings to Storz couplings in line with the AFAC standard; this will take time over the next 12 months and will be dependant on funding.
Another key bit of news related to infrastructure is the Wyndham Strategy. CFA has been doing a lot of planning work projecting station infrastructure needs across the district. The Wyndham Strategy is an excellent piece of work, outlining station requirements in the Wyndham municipal area into the near future. District 14 is home to four of Metro Melbourne’s top five growth areas and we have been working with all levels of government and other stakeholders to ensuring fire service provision is consistent with this growth.
We welcome Deputy Chief Officer – Regional Manager – Greg Esnouf to the key leadership roll within our district.
OO Justin Dally is working out of Bendigo for six months and is being replaced by OO Phil Peacock – who is in turn being replaced by Acting OO Simon Gough, welcome Simon. OO John Maguire has at very short notice gone to assist D17 at Horsham who are very short staffed due to illness; he will be back in March.
Several of our key operational people, strike teams and ground observers and even a new team called CRAT have been deployed to assist with flood work, thanks very much to them and potentially more for their commitment often at short notice
Brigades in the Hume, Whittlesea Diamond Valley and Nillumbik Groups are having their elections this year; brigades should begin planning with their catchment OO the date for the election
If you have any questions or need clarification on any matter, please contact your Operations Officer or BASO in the first instance.
John Deering, Operations Manager