NEW FIRE FRONT

Narrogin Observer - - Front Page - Michael Traill

Up­per Great South­ern will be the fo­cus of a new Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices re­gion, based in Nar­ro­gin. Act­ing su­per­in­ten­dent Sven An­der­sen, pic­tured, says the new re­gion will de­liver bet­ter out­comes to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

The Up­per Great South­ern re­gion will have a “larger voice” at the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices, with the area now its own stand­alone re­gion.

For­merly ad­min­is­trated from Al­bany, DFES’s Up­per Great South­ern cen­tre is now based in Nar­ro­gin, at the old Nar­ro­gin Dis­trict Of­fice on Wil­liams Road.

The new re­gion will cover 55,000sqm, nearly a third of the size of the for­mer com­bined Great South­ern Re­gion’s 140,000sqm.

Seven­teen lo­cal govern­ments fall into the Up­per Great South­ern re­gion in­clud­ing Bod­ding­ton in the west, Cor­ri­gin to the north, Kent and West Arthur south, and stretches as far east as Lake Grace.

From 105 bri­gades, groups and units, 3300 vol­un­teers will now re­ceive sup­port, ad­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der the new re­gion.

This is com­pared to more than 8000 vol­un­teers from 235 BGUs in the for­mer re­gion.

Up­per Great South­ern re­gion act­ing su­per­in­ten­dent Sven An­der­sen says the new re­gion will de­liver bet­ter out­comes to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“The in­tent of the new DFES re­gion is to strengthen re­la­tion- ships and build on cur­rent ca­pac­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity by work­ing with the com­mu­nity to pre­vent, pre­pare for, re­spond to and re­cover from emer­gen­cies of all types,” he said.

Mr An­der­sen says the risks fac­ing the Up­per Great South­ern com­mu­ni­ties are dif­fer­ent to those in the coastal ar­eas around Al­bany.

“The idea of the re­gion also is to lo­calise it; what we’ve done is grouped sim­i­lar risks,” he said.

“The main risks in the Up­per Great South­ern re­gion would be bush­fires.

“As ev­i­dent with last year’s storms and flood­ing, a lot of peo­ple wouldn’t think it would be as big a risk, but they have now been iden­ti­fied by the lo­cals as a risk.

“I would sug­gest bush­fires, floods and storms would be our ma­jor ones.”

Mr An­der­sen said while the Up­per Great South­ern of­fi­cially be­came a re­gion in July, in prac­ti­cal terms it be­gan last Thurs­day.

Pic­ture: Michael Traill

Act­ing su­per­in­ten­dent of the Up­per Great South­ern re­gion Sven An­der­sen.

Pic­ture: DFES

The new DFES Up­per Great South­ern re­gion.

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