Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp APM visited Rochester Fire station this week (26 November) to thank District 20 members, SES, Victoria Police and Forest Fire Management for their efforts during the challenging conditions on Victoria’s first Code Red Fire Danger day.
More than 30 CFA brigades fought the fast-running grass fire which broke out on Strathallan-Burgoine Road just before 1pm on Thursday 21 November.
The fire burnt through 414 hectares and threatened local communities as it crossed Burgoine Road, Rochester-Strathallan Road and the railway line. Six families were evacuated, and emergency warnings were issued across the day.
Commissioner Crisp said he wanted to drop by the station to say a personal thank you to brigades for their hard work on the Code Red day, and in subsequent days managing fires.
“Everyone had a role to play on this challenging day and this was one big team working as one – thank you,” Andrew said.
Rochester Captain Luke Warren said it meant a lot that the Commissioner took time to travel to Rochester.
“It’s great to get a thank you from our community and from CFA, but to get a thanks from someone such as the Commissioner at state level was a real morale boost for all involved on the day,” Luke said.
“The Commissioner took time to speak to all volunteers and agency people not just those in command or our BMT.
“He was very approachable, and it meant a lot to those who were both in the thick of it and in support roles on Thursday and in the days following.”