The Sky’s the Limit – It’s a Different Story if you need a Shed

The Sky’s the Limit – It’s a Different Story if you need a Shed

Are we Forgetting Something?
There is no disputing that aviation plays a vital role in our firefighting capability, but is the state government spending too much time and taxpayers money developing RFS capability whilst they are neglecting the simple principles of mitigation, early detection and suppression using their vast network of volunteer firefighters on the ground.
When it comes to fire suppression, the VFFA is not convinced that large fixed wing aircraft are the answer. We do support using smaller fixed wing aircraft and helicopters for transportation of remote area fire teams (RAFT) and to support ground crews with aerial suppression activities.
With reference to fixed wing aircraft, it should be noted that a fire retardant drop using a DC10 (Very Large Air Tanker – VLAT) costs us $45,000 per drop. Operation of helicopters for firefighting activities is significantly cheaper.
Whilst we acknowledge that this helicopter aquisition has the potential to enhance the states remote area response reach and capability, but we must not neglect the resources that we already have.
It has also been suggested that the money could have been invested into fire towers and early detection systems that have the potential to alert firefighters of a fire before it becomes too large.

2018 Winter Magazine Online and in my Kit Bag

2018 Winter Magazine Online and in my Kit Bag

Have you got your copy of the Winter 2018, VFFA magazine?
If not, then you need to sign up as a volunteer or supporter (it’s FREE) and get two glossy copies of the volunteer fire fighter each year delivered to your mailbox. New members get a copy mailed out (whilst stocks last).
Alternatively, you may prefer to download a copy or make use of our online reading options. Visit our magazines page for this edition or to browse through earlier publications.

RFS Membership Form Update

RFS Membership Form Update

The new RFS Membership Form has been updated with changes that include:
Section 5, Child Related Activities was updated because the agency responsible is now known as the Office of the Children’s Guardian (formerly known as the Commission for Children and Young People).
Section 8, Applicant Declaration was updated to address the changes in legislation concerning personal information, privacy, child related activites and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) National Police Checking Service requirements.
Section 9, Parental or Guardian’s Consent was updated with additional information and two check boxes for the parent or guardian to give their consent based on the applicant’s age at the time of joining.
Section 10, Brigade Validation was updated to include a Brigade checklist with three checkboxes to ensure the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check/Application and Informed Consent Form has been reviewed and relevant documents have been sighted.
Section 11, Confirmation of Interview was updated with checkboxes for the Brigade to consider the applicant’s suitability for membership.
Section 6, RFSA Membership was updated to fix the tick or cross error (as reported in a recent VFFA web site post).

Farmers Deserve Better

Farmers Deserve Better

Farmers in NSW are facing the worst drought in decades and our Government is doing nothing about it. 
The time for listening and touring is over. 
NSW Farmers have spoken – they want:
Legislated drought assistance. 
Reinstate freight subsidies for farmers. 
Drought prevention programs and infrastructure like sheds, silos and stock fodder bunkers. 
SIGN and SHARE this petition to send a message to the NSW Government that farmers deserve better.

Burning gets a Bad Rap

Burning gets a Bad Rap

This article is being posted to encourage readers to consider that we may be giving hazard reduction burning a “bad rap”.

There is a tendency to complete large burning activities in a short period because of available resources and pressure to comply with statistical burning activity targets that report upon the amount of area burned, rather than the quality of the burn. This tendency creates a situation where country is subjected to fire activity that is way too hot.

It has been suggested that hot burning activities were less frequent when individual brigades were allowed to conduct burns with short notice. The red tape that is now required before a match is struck has created narrower window of opportunity to complete a burn. Greater numbers of firefighters, more drip torches, more fire and more expensive methods of burning are now used to get the burn put in quickly.

A tick or a cross?

A tick or a cross?

The VFFA has raised this issue before but the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) does not seem to listen.
The Volunteer Membership Application form that is available on the My-RFS web site has not been updated and it contains errors.

Bargo’s new Fire Station

Bargo’s new Fire Station

Bargo’s volunteer firefighters finally have a new shed to call home.
The NSW Rural Fire Service, brigade members and dignitaries officially opened the Bargo fire station at 10 Avon Dam Road on Saturday, May 12.
NSW RFS senior assistant commissioner Bruce McDonald said the $1.3 million station was partly funded by the brigade members’ fundraising effort.
The station features four truck bays, clothing racks, a meeting room, office and kitchen. The station is larger than the brigade’s previous site and also features training areas.

VFFA President’s takes on the Deputy Premier

VFFA President’s takes on the Deputy Premier

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party announced the campaign of their candidate for the Monaro electorate, Mick Holton yesterday (4th June) in Queanbeyan .
The electorate is currently held by National Party leader John Barilaro on a slim margin, and Mr Holton says that locals deserve better.
“What I keep hearing from people across this electorate is that ever since John Barilaro became National Party leader after the Orange by-election he just stopped listening,” Mr Holton said.
“Mr Barilro promised change, but like National Party leaders before him, he just does whatever the city Liberals tell him to do.”

Blue or Yellow

During independent testing in Alberta, Canada, it has been identified that the blue coloured clothing absorbs more heat.
Why then… do we now see a move towards blue pants?
This is probably an issue with yellow shirts rather than a blue pants issue.
Its also worth noting that it is hard to get any pants other than yellow over trousers in the bush.
This is not anything new, volunteers have picked up on this conflicting argument when the blue pants were originally rolled out.
This issue is further evidence that the NSW Rural Fire Service does whatever it wants without sufficient consultation.

Cyclone Alby by Roger Underwood

At the heart of the book are memoirs collected from people who were there at the time: the firefighters, farmers, foresters, ambos, nurses, school bus drivers, policemen, timber workers, orchardists, fishermen, wives and children. The stories are dramatic and exciting, often heart-breaking and poignant, even in one or two instances humorous. They speak of the courage, resilience, toughness and selflessness of rural West Australians. You will feel proud to read these stories and you will recognise many of the people who wrote them.