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Safety at the heart of visitor guide
Monday 25 August 2014 – 4:30 PM
A visitor information booklet co-ordinated and developed by DFES in collaboration with shires in the Great Southern is now available, providing essential information about emergency services.
 
Great Southern Community Engagement Officer Sarah Matthews said DFES was keen for tourists to know where and how to get emergency information and have a planned escape route in the event of a serious bushfire.
 
“A range of emergency services have participated in the project and are represented in the handy reference guide,” Sarah said.
 
“These include DFES, WA Police, Department of Parks and Wildlife, St John Ambulance and local Volunteer Marine Rescue Services.
 
“The effectiveness and success of the initial concept also encouraged four other Great Southern regional Shires with similar safety issues to adopt localised booklets of their own.
 
“In addition to the first publication tailored to the Shire of Jerramungup, others who have embraced it include the City of Albany and Shires of Esperance, Denmark and Ravensthorpe.
 
“Visitors often lack essential local knowledge and this fold out guide includes important emergency contact details and safety messages.”
 
The booklet also lists the Fire and Emergency Services Information Line number, which enables visitors to keep up to date with any significant bushfires or incidents impacting the region.
 
Great Southern Superintendent Daniel Austin said it was rewarding to see the booklets in circulation.
 
“There was great collaboration between all the agencies which worked well together in the interest of public safety,” Daniel said.
 
“The population of many Great Southern towns swells in summer when around 15,000 people head to the south coast, and this will be an extremely useful resource for everyone.
 
“The way the booklets are intended to work is that a dialogue is initiated when they are being handed to people registering for accommodation, requesting local tourist information or making purchases.
 
“This opens up an avenue for increasing visitor awareness of regional emergency services.
 
“There is also an opportunity for shire rangers, police, firefighters, ambulance officers and volunteer marine rescuers to provide booklets and give advice to visitors who are unfamiliar with the area.”
 
Shire of Jerramungup Chief Executive Officer Bill Parker said the idea was first suggested at a Local Emergency Management Committee.
 
“Instead of each agency handing out their own individual contact information, we agreed it would be more effective to combine them into one handy regional publication,” Bill said.
 
“It took off from there and all agencies represented in the booklets supported DFES in their development, production and launch.”
 
The booklet fits easily into a pocket or wallet. It will be distributed through visitor and resource centres, holiday homes, caravan sites, local roadhouses and bait shops.