Today marks 11 years since the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.
As CFA people continue to respond to the current fire emergency, we reflect on the events of 7 February 2009, honouring the lives of those lost and of those people and communities impacted by the devastation.
Our thoughts are with those communities today, and we remember the incredible courage and resilience of Victorians in the wake of disaster.
CFA CEO/Chief Officer Steve Warrington said the anniversary would always be a time for reflection for CFA people and all members of the emergency services who worked on the fires.
“Today may be tough for our people; It’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions as we reflect on the events of that day,” he said.
“There may be imagery on social media and television that may be distressing – it’s OK not to expose yourself to this if you feel it may bring about a strong emotional response.
“Some people may not be emotionally impacted at all and this is perfectly normal too.
“I want our people to know that it’s OK to not be OK, and if you do need support please reach out to our Wellbeing team through our Wellbeing Support Line.”
CFA Wellbeing Support Line
If you are not okay, or if you notice a change in someone you know, contact the CFA Wellbeing Support Line on 1800 959 232 to access free, confidential support that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wellbeing services are available to all CFA volunteers, employees and their immediate family members.
The support services include the Member Assistance Program with Psychologists and Counsellors, Traditional and Career Firefighter Peer Support Programs, Chaplaincy Program, Bullying and Harassment Hotline, Let Me Know web-based app, Centres Against Sexual Assault as well as other services provided by the Wellbeing Team.
To view the complete range of services, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/wellbeing.
In addition to CFA’s Wellbeing services, help is also available through:
• Your GP
• A mental health specialist such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor or social worker
• Lifeline – 13 11 14
• Grief Line – 1300 845 745
• Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
• The Australia Centre for Post-Traumatic Mental Health – (03) 9035 5599