It was great to meet representatives from the teams that keep Rockingham safe again earlier this week.
Representatives were in attendance from the Department Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), Rockingham Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (RVFRS), Secret Harbour Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (SHVFRS), Baldivis Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service (BVFES), Singleton Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade (SVBFB) and of course the City of Rockingham.
These groups do an amazing job for the community, and sadly much of their work goes unrecognised. Not only do they give up their own time to fight fires, putting themselves in danger, often in conditions most would find unbearable, but they assist land owners to reduce the risk of bush fires around their property, they engage with the local schools and community groups and are a generally all round great bunch of people.
Bush Fire News
There are a number of different organisations and government departments that are involved in managing and responding to fires. Some groups do everything from fighting fires to responding to car accidents, others specialise in fighting bush fires. As a result, communication between these groups is vital. I’m proud to report that according to the guys in attendance that the new policies in place from the senior ranks are making communication and teamwork even easier.
We’ve been very lucky with a lower than average number of incidents over the normally busy summer months, but that’s not a reason to become complacent as there’s still plenty of hot days ahead and still plenty of risk of fires starting.
Overall property owners who are required to have firebreaks in place have done a great job, with the majority having the work done correctly and on time. 170 work orders and 50 infringement notices were issued though, so there is still some improvement needed by landowners across the City.
All the volunteer groups around the city reported ongoing training and healthy numbers of volunteers. A few of the groups will be looking to recruit new members in the near future, so if this is something that would interest you, keep an eye out for their promotions or get in contact directly.
Rockingham Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (RVFRS)
The Rockingham Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service has been in operation for 49 years. The Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services works hand in hand with the Career Fire & Rescue Service based at the same station.
The Rockingham VFRS is made numerous volunteers who dedicate time to the service of the community within the state of WA. The volunteers are on call and attend emergencies as and when required 24/7.
There are over 2,000 Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) members from 88 brigades in Western Australia who provide firefighting and prevention services throughout the state.
VFRS firefighters undertake a range of responsibilities including:
Containing hazardous material spills
Road crash rescue
Fire safety education
Through comprehensive training, VFRS firefighters learn to operate the wide range of equipment, vehicles and appliances used for fire suppression including charged hose lines, portable pumps, tankers and communications.
DFES provides VFRS training in:
Personal and team safety
Structural and bushfire fighting
Vehicle driving both on and off road
Leadership and emergency management procedures
For incidents involving road crash rescues and hazardous materials emergencies, specialised equipment such as the ‘jaws of life’ hydraulic rams, cutters and spreaders, decontamination equipment and protective clothing are used.
Not all firefighters’ work involves firefighting or rescue. Volunteers actively promote fire education programs through schools, service groups, seniors’ homes and local businesses. Training for this type of work is also provided by DFES Fire Services managers.
Secret Harbour Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (SHVFRS)
Secret Harbour Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service is Western Australia’s 2nd busiest VFRS brigade for primary turnouts in the Perth metro area. Our team of 24 volunteers responds to over 100 emergency calls each year, as well as attending community events, hazard reduction burns and school visits.
Baldivis Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service (BVFES)
Eighty Road, Baldivis. Baldivis station is open to the general public every Monday evening from 7:30pm until 10:00pm.
Our Mission is to provide the Baldivis community, and wider City of Rockingham community with a professional fire and emergency service while maintaining and disseminating relevant and timely information.
Singleton Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade (SVBFB)
The Singleton Volunteer Bush Fire brigade headquarters is located in Munja Street, Golden Bay next to the community centre, and has been an active brigade in the City of Rockingham for approximately 30 years. The brigade currently has about 50 members.
The brigade’s fire district is bounded by Stakehill Road to the north, Mandurah Road to the west, River Road to the east and the shire boundary in the south. The area contains the Anstey Swamp and Paganoni Swamp reserves as well as the remains of the Peel “A” pine plantation (including the munitions reserve)
The brigade has 6 operational vehicles; 4 x light tankers (Toyota Landcruisers) which carry approximately 600 litres of water, 1 x 2.4 medium tanker which carries 2000 litres of water, and 1 x water tanker which carries 8000 litres of water. These units are positioned at three (Singleton, Golden Bay, Karnup) locations within the City of Rockingham’s fire district.
The brigade holds a Training session monthly on the third Wednesday of the month commencing at 1830 (6:30pm), followed by a general meeting at 1930 (7:30pm) in August until April, and a monthly social BBQ on the last Friday of each month commencing around 1800 hours (6:00pm).