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First stop of the Rural Fire Division (RFD) tour. Pictured are members of West Murray, Pinjarra and Waroona emergency services, Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan MLA​, FES Commissioner Darren Klemm and RFD Executive Director Murray Carter


​​Introducing the new Rural Fire Division 


24 May 2018


A new era in rural fire management and record mitigation investment in Western Australia has begun with the delivery of the Rural Fire Division.


Since the announcement on 13 April 2018, the Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan MLA, Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM and the new division's Executive Director Murray Carter have been touring the South West, Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions explaining the new division.


Western Australia is a large and diverse state with over 800 volunteer brigades, groups and units. Each team is unique, with small or large differences in composition, scope of activities and local arrangements.


The Rural Fire Division tour set out to meet with and familiarise the local volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (BFB), the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) and the Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) on the significant changes announced by the State Government. ​

 


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​Allanson Bush Fire Brigade

​Harvey Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services

Esperance Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services 'Meet and Greet'

​Witchcliffe Bush Fire Brigade​


Minister for Emergency Services Francis Logan MLA said the sector is complex and the State government, local governments, industry, private organisations, volunteers and communities all have important roles and responsibilities in bushfire management.

“At the heart of the changes is the recognition that we can, and must improve the way we work together,” he said.

“There will be more focus on supporting the volunteers through training and greater input as well as focusing on bushfire risk management, research and best practice.”

Rural Fire Division Executive Director Murray Carter said this is the most ambitious reform of the bushfire management sector in Western Australian history.

“Many of these changes will lead to significant improvements in rural bushfire management. We ask for patience, support and continued leadership in the sector while we implement the changes,” he said.

The tour so far has visited: Pinjarra, Yarloop, Bunbury, Busselton, Witchcliffe, Augusta, Manjimup, Bridgetown, Collie, Denmark, Albany, Bremer Bay, Jerramungup, Ravensthorpe, Esperance, Kojonup, Katanning, Wagin, Narrogin, Brookton, Beverley, Northam, Toodyay, Dowerin, Wongan Hills, Dalwallinu, Moora and Gingin.​


During the tour Minister Logan took the opportunity to award many bushfire volunteers who had reached 60 years or more of service. The Minister acknowledged that working for 60 years is a significant achievement so volunteering for that amount of time — in what can be a dangerous occupation — is an extraordinary commitment. 

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Olive Hills/Roelands Volunteer Frederick Talbot and his family with Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan MLA​, FES Commissioner Darren Klemm and Member for Murray-Wellington Robyn Clarke MLA.

​Leonard Letchford from Acton Park North and Augusta East Bush Fire Brigades with Minister Francis Logan MLA


The tour will continue to meet with brigades, groups and units over the coming months. If you have any queries or would like any further information, please contact the Office of the Commissioner at commissioner.office@dfes.wa.gov.au


​To view all the images from the Rural Fire Division tour, visit the Minister for Emergency Services' Facebook page