The lead up to the 2019 snow season, accompanied by some heavy snowfalls, meant that many people had to kick into gear a little earlier than expected. This was not the case for CFA however, as prevention and preparedness is always at the forefront when it comes to community safety.
In the lead up to the Queen’s Birthday Opening weekend of the Victorian Alpine Resorts, CFA’s pre-season was busy with fire safety and education activities across the three main alpine resorts of Falls Creek, Mt Hotham/Dinner Plain and Mt Buller.
The alpine brigades, in conjunction with Districts 23, 24 and CFAHQ, participated in an alpine pre-season meeting. This was conducted at Mt Buller in mid-May, and hosted by the Brigade. This was an opportunity for the alpine brigade Captains, 1st Lieutenants, and associated District, operational and HQ staff to meet, engage, and collaborate. It was a forum in which ideas could be shared, and issues discussed. This was a great initiative that was agreed would be the intention to occur each year, with location between each mountain on a rotational basis.
Mt Buller brigade conducted a pre- season training day that involved relay pumping, a two line fog attack and extinguisher use. The use of training props were brought up the hill, and positioned in the Horsehill carpark for the practical training. That evening, the focus was then devoted to the use of CFA’s computer fire simulation training. The Mt Buller brigade has also conducted pre- season fire plug inspection ready for winter.
At Falls Creek, the end of May started with a fire safety morning for all the new Falls Creek Ski Lifts (FCSL) chairlift operators, as well as meetings with Falls Creek Resort Management (FCRM), FCSL, the Alpine Municipal Building Surveyor and other community members.
CFA Commanders have had the opportunity to present CFA fire safety messages at various stakeholder briefing nights. Mt Hotham’s stakeholder briefing was conducted in Melbourne in mid-March, in which Commander Lyndon Bradley represented CFA.
At Falls Creek, a stakeholder briefing night was held on Tuesday 04 June.
Some of the CFA key focal points for winter 2019 are:
- Essential service measures compliance and updated fire safety plans;
- Management of fire safety and detection equipment (to reduce or eliminate the number of false alarms);
- Adopting a hydrant (ie. assisting Resort and CFA to clear the hydrants outside premises, in the event of snow build up which can delay operational response);
- Operational response enhancement with the Quick Response Vehicles
- Promotion of warden training and premise led evacuations
- Maintaining a positive community presence
2019 CFA Fire Warden Information Breakfasts for alpine resort communities
An initiative developed by Commander Lyndon Bradley, post international research from the US and Canada in early 2019, included enhanced stakeholder engagement. This resulted in the opportunity to conduct CFA Fire Warden Information Breakfasts for alpine resort owners, managers and wardens.
A breakfast was held for the Dinner Plain community on Tuesday 04 June at the Ramada Resort, attended by 10 key stakeholders. This was facilitated by CFA Alpine Commander Lyndon Bradley. The session incorporated the CFA computer simulation team (Aaron Stockton and Paul Cockerill), who’s innovative technology was used to demonstrate the roles of fire wardens and the practical tasks that should be performed on the screen for all participants to be ‘virtually’ involved in.
Wednesday morning (05 June), CFA then hosted a Fire Warden Information Breakfast in Falls Creek. This session was consistent with the content covered the previous day in Dinner Plain. There were 19 participants that attended the Falls Creek session, and some great questions and discussion were had.
A further CFA Fire Warden Information Breakfasts will be conducted at Mt Buller on the coming weeks.