Fire­fight­ers pro­vide re­lief

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Stephanie Hor­ton

A con­tin­gent of 33 Vic­to­rian emer­gency man­age­ment per­son­nel de­parted last Wednesday for a 21-day de­ploy­ment to California to as­sist in man­ag­ing the dev­as­tat­ing fires in the north of the state.

The crew in­cludes 20 fire­fight­ers, 12 di­vi­sional com­man­ders and two se­nior li­ai­son of­fi­cers who are mem­bers of CFA and For­est Fire Man­age­ment, which in­cludes Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning and Parks Vic­to­ria mem­bers.

‘‘California has re­quested sup­port from Vic­to­ria to the north­ern California fires that have al­ready caused sig­nif­i­cant death, de­struc­tion and com­mu­nity dis­place­ment,’’ Vic­to­ria’s Emer­gency Man­age­ment Com­mis­sioner Craig Lap­s­ley said.

‘‘Our thoughts are with those who have ex­pe­ri­enced loss.

‘‘While Vic­to­ria is also com­ing in to sum­mer, the Vic­to­rian fire­fight­ing crews have been sourced from ar­eas across the state and this has been care­fully con­sid­ered to en­sure this small but im­por­tant de­ploy­ment does not im­pact on Vic­to­ria’s re­sponse ca­pa­bil­ity run­ning up to sum­mer.’’

There are 27 per­son­nel from For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria, in­clud­ing three from Be­nalla.

Ben Cook and Felic­ity Ward­law will be on the fire ground in California, while David Ross will be there as a sec­tor com­man­der.

Vic­to­ria re­mains fo­cused on be­ing well pre­pared and re­sourced to man­age the plan­ning and re­sponse to in­ci­dents and emer­gen­cies around the state.

Vic­to­ria has a strong and on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship with California, in par­tic­u­lar CalOES and CalFire. An agree­ment to sup­port this has been in place with the Cal­i­for­nian Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Emer­gency Ser­vices since July 2015.

This part­ner­ship al­lows the ex­change of per­son­nel, re­sources, knowl­edge, skill, and mu­tual sup­port in the event of an emer­gency.

Help at hand: CFA fire­fight­ers have been de­ployed to as­sist in California.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.