The following statement was read into Parliament today by Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan MLA.
As the Minister says, 6 June was indeed an unusually busy day for not only paid DFEs staff, but thousands of Local Government Volunteers who left their homes and work to protect our community. Congratulations and thank you all!
DEPARTMENT OF FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES — CALLOUTS — 6 JUNE 2019
Statement by Minister for Emergency Services
MR F. LOGAN: I would like to take this opportunity to inform the house about the remarkable efforts of our emergency services staff and volunteers across the state on Thursday, 6 June. A week into winter and the state was battling raging fires while also preparing for severe storms. It ended up being the third busiest day for incidents raised, including false fire alarms, in the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ recorded history, with an incredible 276 incidents recorded. The most incidents in one day were back on 22 December 2002 with 279 incidents, followed by 22 March 2010 with 277.
Those on 6 June were only three incidents off breaking the record.
The Bureau of Meteorology had issued a severe fire weather warning, which covered a vast area of the state, but also a severe weather warning for the south west land division, which was forecast to hit later in the day. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services put plans in place ahead of the predicted weather with 11 aerial firefighting aircraft on standby, declaring total fire bans for
large parts of the south west land division and engaging the media’s support to urge community members to be extra vigilant. While people were being urged to prepare for the looming stormy weather, firefighters were battling high winds and raging fires throughout the south west land division. All of WA’s emergency services worked tirelessly together on the ground and in the air, and did an incredible job protecting people’s lives and saving property.
I am sure everyone in this house will join me in thanking each and every one of these people who put their lives on hold to help the local communities involved. Of course, it is not just those on the front line. Incidents such as these require an extensive and dedicated team not only on site, but also behind the scenes, and we must extend our gratitude to all concerned as well as the families and employers of our emergency responders. Significant bushfire incidents require a multi-agency response, and the collaboration and dedicated efforts of all agencies involved must also be acknowledged.
Finally, I wish to express my thanks to the community and residents for heeding the advice of public warning alerts and remaining vigilant to ensure their own safety during this challenging period. I hope that days such as 6 June remain an exception rather than the norm, but if they do occur, I know we have the people, skills and resources in place to deal with them.