Made up of the town’s Surf Life Saving Club and members of the local fire brigade, the Wye River Community Volunteers were the 2011 recipients of the Fire Awareness Awards RACV Insurance Fire Innovation Grant of $5000. They also won the RACV Insurance Award for Excellence.
The group was recognised for its home-grown initiative of forming an emergency management plan for worst case scenarios impacting
“Within our population, we might have doctors, nurses, farmers, teachers, people who can organise and people who are hands-on. Rather than these people being tasked in an ad hoc manner, we’ve developed a management structure so we know how and where we’d utilise our volunteers,” Peter said.
As part of this arrangement, a plan of communication and coordination has been developed by the group, which begins with a text message being sent to 32 volunteers.
“It’s an award-winning idea that could be a model for other popular tourist towns,” Peter said.
“The Community Volunteer Plan relies on communication between the supervisors and the teams of volunteers and this is where the 10 UHF CB radios purchased are a vital cog in the plan.”
Through winning the RACV grant, the Wye River Community Volunteers Group was able to purchase these radios, which are also being used for everyday brigade pre-preparedness work.
“It is an added bonus that these radios are also available for use by the local CFA. When working around the district, each brigade member can carry one of these radios and as well as being a conduit for feedback, they also provide personal safety,” Brigade Lieutenant Andrew Hack said.
He added that any individual or community group undertaking similar projects or initiatives, assisting to keep communities safe from fire, should consider entering the awards.
“Without the RACV Grant money our brigade would not have had the funds available to coordinate our teams of community volunteers,” Andrew said
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said now was the perfect time for Victorians to share their hard work and achievements by nominating for the 2012 Fire Awareness Awards, with applications open until 2 October.
“These are a great way to celebrate the people undertaking these projects. For many of them, carrying out these projects is not part of their job. They are volunteers or community groups dedicating their time to improving fire safety, preparedness, response and recovery,” he said.
Other projects that won awards last year included the Weeds to Mulch Program by the Surf Coast Community and
The awards are a collaboration between the state’s three fire agencies – CFA, MFB, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), and the Fire Services Commissioner. Submissions are judged on how successful they are in reducing the number or the effects of fires in
The Fire Awareness Awards are sponsored by RACV Insurance which provides the $10,000 RACV Insurance Fire Innovation Grant and contributes to the cost of the Awards presentation event at the RACV Club in Melbourne. The RACV Insurance Award for Excellence is presented to the most outstanding fire project from these categories.
Winners will be announced at a presentation evening event on 3 December.
For more information about the 2012 Fire Awareness Awards or to apply, visit www.fireawarenessawards.com.au or email email@example.com
Community Award (8 sub-categories)
Fire Services Award
Media and Communication Award
New & Emerging Technologies
Government and Municipal Award
There are two types of grants on offer; the RACV Insurance Fire Innovation Grant of $10,000 and three Special Incentive Grants each valued at $2,000. The grants are available for new projects that promote fire awareness and safety, or to further develop an existing fire project.