VICTORIAN firefighters are continuingto assist Queensland in the face of extreme weather conditions that are expected to persist for several days.
On Sunday, dozens of emergency service personnel departed Tullamarine airport in a second round of deployments to assist with the nearly 150 bushfires burning across Queensland.
Sent off by Acting Chief Officer Stephanie Rotarangi and Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp, all those attending were firmly aware of the conditions on the ground and the gravity of the situation but eager to arrive and assist as soon as possible.
“What we are seeing here today is a great willingness of not just CFA personnel but Victorian emergency services in general in helping our sister agencies however we can,” Dr Rotarangi said.
“Our aim is to support our Queensland and interstate colleagues tackling multiple significant fires burning through central Queensland, particularly as more unprecedented weather is forecast along with providing relief to our personnel already on the ground”.
The events in Queensland have also brought into focus the need for all Victorians to plan and prepare for the local fire season.
“It is important to understand and know the risks in your local area,” Dr Rotarangi said.
“Have a plan for what you and your family will do in the event of a fire and know where to access the latest emergency information.”
On a sadder note, Sunday, December 2 marked the 20-year anniversary of the Linton bushfire that claimed the lives of five CFA firefighters.
CFA remembered the loss of Matthew Armstrong, Jason Thomas, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson and Garry Vredeveldt from Geelong West Fire Brigade in 1998 at a service at the Geelong West Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon.
Ms Rotarangi said the CFA would never forget the sacrifice those firefighters made while protecting the community.
“CFA has come a long way since the Linton fire – our safety procedures, communication, training and equipment changed as a result of this fire.
“The legacy of this event continues to drive our pre-season and ongoing training.”