The Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ (DFES) Bushfire Centre of Excellence (BCoE) team has officially moved to the Pinjarra Heritage Train Station located at Fimmel Lane, Pinjarra.
The team will operate from the site until the completion of the purpose-built facility in the Peel Business Park, Nambeelup, scheduled for December 2020.
DFES Chief Superintendent Bushfire Centre of Excellence John Tillman said it was fantastic to see the team come together and work from the interim facility.
“It’s great to be operating close to where the Centre of Excellence facility will take shape, with construction expected to commence in February 2020,” Chief Superintendent Tillman said.
“In doing so we’re strengthening our local partnerships and supporting state-wide training and engagement opportunities from the region well ahead of building completion.”
The Heritage Train Station features large rooms where training courses will be delivered on-site as well as information sessions, workshops and other engagement opportunities for volunteers and bushfire management stakeholders.
Locating to this facility will enable the BCoE team to continue updating, delivering and rolling out training whilst growing its online presence to share bushfire knowledge products over the next year.
The BCoE team was officially welcomed to the facility and community by the Shire of Murray at a networking event on Monday 9 December.
Among attendees was Premier Hon. Mark McGowan MLA, Minister for Emergency Services Hon. Francis Logan MLA and Member for Murray-Wellington Mrs. Robyn Clarke MLA.
The event followed on from the first BCoE training courses being delivered at the interim facility the week prior.
They included fire spread prediction and simulation training and refresher Fire Behaviour Analyst (FBAn) training to prepare personnel for the bushfire season.
Training courses that are currently being developed or reviewed by the BCoE include ‘Assist with Planned Burning’ and ‘Plantation Firefighting’.
In addition, the BCoE has worked closely with Volunteer Associations, volunteer representatives and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to review and update existing bush firefighting training courses.
Updated training products will be released in January 2020, with work initially being undertaken with Training Support Officers and Trainer Assessors to handover the training products and explain the changes. As existing Trainer Assessors become endorsed, training will become available locally.
Duplication in previous training courses has been removed and the updated products have been designed to provide flexibility in delivery to suit local needs.
Once the courses are released, there will be a six month transitional period where both the old and new courses may be run within a region to minimise impact on training delivery.
Further information about the transition and roll out process will be released shortly.
To find out more email BushfireCoE@dfes.wa.gov.au or visit dfes.wa.gov.au/bushfirecoe.