COMMent Newsletter December 2009

  Comment Banner Dec 2009


A Message from the Chief Executive,
David Place

Many South Australians love this time of year, invigorated by the arrival of warmer weather and celebrating the onset of the festive season. While many are looking forward to the joys of summer and to winding down for the festive season, the summer months signal a heightened level of risk for our sector and we are all bracing ourselves for the worst that summer can throw at us.

Bushfire Awareness Week Launch
  While the threat of structure fires, severe weather and road crashes are year-round risks, the summer months bring the added risks associated with seasonal pursuits like swimming and boating, and the perils of bushfires and extreme heat. To find out more about what lies ahead click here.
From the Board

An update from SAFECOM Board meetings:

  1. Sector Strategic Planning
  2. Board Manual
  3. Governance Policy
  4. Board Calendar
  5. New Board Paper template
  6. Board performance survey
  7. Regional visits
  8. Financial performance
  9. Three-year capital plan
  10. State Government's Facility Management Plan
  11. Links between socio-economic status and fire deaths and injuries
  12. Audit and Risk Management
  13. Strategic Thinking Commitee

SAFECOM Board and Advisory Board changes
The passage of the amended Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 through the Parliament of South Australia has seen the winding up of the Advisory Board.


Alert SA
Friday 4 December saw the launch of the national Emergency Alert telephone warning system. The new system will allow emergency services to send a warning voice message to landlines, and text message to mobiles in the event of a major emergency.

Seamless Integration

Heatwave plan put into action
As November's heatwave rewrote the record books at the Bureau of Meteorology in Kent Town, the new whole-of-government response to extreme heat  was put into action.

Sector staff and volunteers receive honours
Last month, 23 South Australians were honoured for going above and beyond the call of duty, often risking their own lives to help others. Out of this, 16 sector staff and volunteers were awarded with either an Emergency Services Medal or a Ministerial Commendation which is a fantastic achievement.

Working together to promote summer safety advice
The emergency services sector was involved in a range of open days, displays and internal events to mark 2009 Public Sector Week at the end of November.

MFS Open Day Comment Photo
  Exercise Team Spirit
Many staff from across the SAFECOM sector were involved in Exercise Team Spirit which is an annual event that tests the State's emergency management arrangements in the lead up to the summer season. The scenario for this year was the prevailing weather conditions being similar to those experienced on Black Saturday that culminated in eight mock bushfires burning across six CFS regions.
Community Resilience

Bushfire Awareness Week a major success Considerable positive publicity focusing on the nationally agreed theme of PREPARE. ACT. SURVIVE. was achieved during the inaugural Bushfire Awareness Week, which was held in South Australia from October 19-25.

Building Partnerships

Sector receives a number of accolades
It's been a few months of great success for our sector. A number of individuals and programs have been acknowledged with awards, including the three significant projects recognised at the 2009 Community Safer Awards.

Fire Danger Season and Operation Nomad launch
The 2009/10 Fire Danger Season was officially launched at Belair National Park on 1 December 2009, marking the start of the fire danger season in Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges and the Adelaide Metropolitan fire ban districts, bringing the entire State under fire restrictions until April 2010.

Volunteers recognised at VERSP ceremony
Last month as part of SAFECOM's successful Volunteer and Employer Recognition and Support Program (VERSP), 30 people were presented with awards and certificates for the important role they play in the community.

The Noel Hodges collection
While many people in the SA emergency services were saddened to hear of the passing of Noel Hodges OAM late last year, his remarkable legacy will now remain intact for future generations

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