Association President Dave Gossage AFSM was invited down to the southern Districts Bushfire Brigade for a discussion on the Ferguson report. He was very impressed to see the City of Mandurah Emergency Management Officer, Myra Giardini undertaking safety training with the Volunteers. “It is great to see the connection between local government and their Volunteer Bushfire Brigades alive and well”, he said.
The family atmosphere was very strong and the cradle to grave philosophy being embraced with passion. The volunteers spent a few hours discussing their concerns with how they were treated during the Waroona fires, the Ferguson report, equipment, training and ESL funding for local government Bushfire Brigades.
There were consistent themes coming from the Volunteers that were very similar to those around the state. There is a strong call for complete separation of the services as reflected in the Ferguson report with the urgent need for a cultural shift to ensure sustainable volunteerism into the future.
There is also suport for the ESL funding to be removed from DFES’ control and the removal of SEMC and OBRUM functions away from the department. Grave concerns that the vehicles we are now getting are not being fit for purpose when there are more options availble than ever before.
It was a great day out and many great ideas came forward from the volunteers, not to mention the great energy of the future junior volunteer featured in the front of the picture.