FESA to adopt recommendations from major review into fires
FESA will review operational procedures and implement key changes following the release of an independent review of the major fires at Lake Clifton, Red Hill and Roleystone which occurred earlier this year.
As is standard practice following any significant emergency event, FESA has conducted a Major Incident Review (MIR) into the three fires which occurred in January and February 2011 to ensure lessons learnt will enhance the emergency service provided to all Western Australians.
Chief Executive Officer Jo Harrison-Ward said the MIR, which was tabled in Parliament today, highlighted what FESA did well during the fires as well as what changes needed to be made to improve the delivery of emergency services in the future.
“A key finding in the review commended the incredible effort by our volunteer and career firefighters and other emergency services personnel to ensure no lives were lost during the three fires, despite horrific fire conditions and extremely challenging terrain,” she said.
The MIR, which was conducted by internationally recognised fire management expert Mr Stuart Ellis, the former Chair of the Council of Australian Government (COAG) on Bushfire Mitigation and Management, made 14 findings and 14 recommendations. These include:
- The importance of improving situational awareness by operational commanders in the early stages of a bushfire event;
- Coordination between emergency service agencies could be improved;
- Bushfire capabilities should be enhanced within the metropolitan area by reviewing the allocation of fire appliances and training;
- Local governments should consider declaring areas of the Darling Escarpment ‘bushfire prone’; and
- Local residents living in high risk bushfire areas need to undertake their own bushfire preparations in order to give their family and property the best chance of survival.
Chief Operations Officer Craig Hynes said FESA welcomed the report and accepts all the findings and recommendations.
“FESA is committed to continuous improvement. The MIR process is standard practice for our agency and is an important step forward in the process of learning from these devastating events,” he said.
“FESA will now work through the details of the recommendations and findings with stakeholders to implement changes that will enhance the safety and protection of the lives and properties of all Western Australians.”
Media Contact: Media and Public Affairs, 9225 5955.