Volunteer Groups oppose takeover

Emergency services organisations have rejected a takeover bid by the WA Government. In submissions to the Review of Emergency Services Acts, they claim the Department of Fire and Emergency Services doesn’t understand volunteer organisations and say “insensitive” language and a lack of training support has eroded trust. The submissions, by the Association of Volunteer Bush…

Fresh action on bushfire control

Smaller strategic controlled burns around towns and suburbs will increasingly take precedence over broad-acre burn-offs under a shake-up of WA’s bushfire prevention policy. The shift by the Department of Parks and Wildlife – it had previously aimed to burn 200,000ha in the South West each year – comes amid the agency’s repeated failures to reach…

New trauma program for firefighting recruits aims to boost coping skills

A new program designed to help firefighting recruits cope with stress and anxiety after experiencing traumatic events in Western Australia could soon also be extended to their families. The resilience-building program is designed to lower post-traumatic stress symptoms in Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) recruits who have confronted bushfires and road accidents. Curtin…

Nominate a hero today!

We know members of WA’s Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade community don’t like the word “hero” to describe what they do. But most of us know someone in our local Brigade who absolutely deserves that title. Until Tuesday, the Sunday Times and PerthNow.com.au are accepting nominations for their Pride of Australia Medal. If you know a…

Poor plans seen in WA fire policy

A leading expert on bushfire architecture is alarmed over WA’s proposed bushfire planning policy, warning it could put lives at risk. Ian Weir said the proposed policy did not support homeowners building to the highest bushfire design standards and allowed homes in areas deemed to be low hazard risk to eschew Australian standards. Mr Weir,…

Bushfire code may hit urban homes

[The West Australian] Inner-city homes overlooking Kings Park or backing on to nature strips would be treated the same as semi-rural blocks under proposed new bushfire planning policy and guidelines. Residents building on such sites could face development restrictions and be slugged thousands to equip their properties with anti- bushfire measures. More than 130 properties…