Nearly three years after the Black Saturday fires that claimed 173 lives and left thousands homeless, 75 per cent of Victorians in high-risk bushfire areas don’t have a comprehensive bushfire survival plan.
The Minster for Police and Emergency Services, Peter Ryan and Fire Services Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, called for this to change as they addressed the Rural Press Club of Victoria Summer Fire Season Breakfast in November attended by around 80 people.
The Commissioner outlined key changes that have been made since Black Saturday. “Primacy of life” is now the acknowledged number one priority for all emergency services involved in fighting fires. Issuing of timely and accurate information by the emergency services is also critical, particularly to support people to take responsibility for their own safely in bushfire situation.
The Minister also announced a secondment program whereby six career firefighters from CFA and six from MFB will swap jobs in an effort to share knowledge and increase understanding between the two agencies.