Victoria’s firefighters are getting the support they need to keep the community safe this fire season, with Fire Action Week kicking off today.
Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino joined Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today to launch the annual fire-planning and preparation week and urge Victorians to prepare early for the upcoming fire season.
Fire agencies have begun their preparations earlier this year with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting an above-normal fire season this summer and bushfires already impacting the Gippsland region.
Fire Action Week, which has been held each year since 2009, is a time for households to increase their understanding of local fire risks, prepare their properties and plan how to stay safe.
The Andrews Labor Government is investing a record $29.4 million in Victoria’s biggest ever firefighting aircraft fleet, providing a mix of water-bombing aircraft including fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to help keep communities safe.
At the same time, the Government will roll out a range of initiatives from the Fire Services Statement to continue supporting our firefighters this fire season.
A $60 million investment will deliver the training, equipment and facilities Victorian firefighters need. Activities to increase the diversity of Victoria’s fire services will be progressed along with a volunteer recruitment and retention drive.
As recommended in the recent Legislative Council inquiry, CFA and MFB will also publish quarterly response times to improve transparency. The first set of data will be published in coming weeks. Work will also begin on the transition to a single commissioner model for the MFB.
Victorians can stay up-to-date with emergency warnings throughout the fire season by tuning into local radio and Sky News broadcasts, phoning the VicEmergency hotline 1800 226 226, visiting emergency.vic.gov.au, and downloading the VicEmergency App.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino
“Our firefighters do us proud every single day and are ready for another dangerous fire season but it is important that every Victorian does their part to ensure they stay safe – that’s what Fire Action Week is all about.”
“We will continue investing in our firefighters to ensure they have the equipment, facilities and training they need to keep Victorians safe.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“The immediate focus in our community needs to be on staying safe this bushfire season.”
“Talk to your family and friends about your plans, and make sure you know when to leave and where to go to stay safe.”