The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) remains committed to protecting the people of Western Australia, and will continue responding to emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DFES has put procedures in place to ensure critical services can be maintained, allowing emergency services personnel to continue doing their job while following social distancing restrictions.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM acknowledged the challenges brought on by COVID-19, and reaffirmed DFES’ commitment to keeping the community safe.
“This is a difficult time for all Western Australians, but we will not waver in our commitment to protect the public,” Commissioner Klemm said.
“Our priority remains the safety of the community, continuing to deliver frontline services, and protecting the welfare of our firefighters and WA’s 26,000 emergency services volunteers.
“I want to reassure every Western Australian that the emergency services are still here for you. If you ring Triple Zero, your call will be answered.
“DFES will do everything we can to help our State through this crisis.”
Additional precautions are being taken to protect the community and frontline personnel when responding to incidents with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. This includes providing personnel with additional personal protective equipment such as masks and nitrile gloves, and introducing stricter decontamination processes.
However, the community also has a role to play.
When people call Triple Zero, they will be asked whether they have COVID-19 or symptoms of the virus. This information helps emergency services personnel identify whether they need to wear additional protective equipment when they attend an emergency.
DFES has been working hard to assist with the whole-of-government response to the pandemic. The Department has highly skilled experts in the field of emergency management, and these staff have been deployed to various Government agencies to assist.
Volunteers from all services have also been assisting other agencies where required, demonstrating their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Commissioner Klemm said emergency services personnel were incredibly resilient and would support the community – and each other – through the pandemic.
“In times of crisis it’s important that people come together and help each other,” he said.
“We are stronger when we work together. This principle has guided us through crises in the past, and it will continue to do so.”
To keep up to date on how DFES is responding to COVID-19, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/dfeswa or Twitter at www.twitter.com/dfes_wa