On June 7 2020 a media release was issued by President Mr. Holton with a recommendation that a RFS Volunteer Benevolent Fund be set up from the $51M raised by Celeste Barber. In the recent Commissioner’s Update Sep 21 one of the new priorities was to establish the Benevolent Fund to assist the volunteer firefighters and their families. It is good to see an initiative of the VFFA for RFS volunteer members being followed up.
My medal proposal is different, in that everyone qualifies. Not everyone qualifies for the National Medal, or the National Emergency Medal, and it represents a certain event or period in time similar to a military campaign or General Service Medal. There is no Long Service Good Conduct Medal available to you either. My proposal is a medal that represents a gift to you from your nation that recognizes your services and commitment to the Australian community. It doesn’t just recognize your service on the fire ground it represents all those days and weeks of training beforehand, committee meetings and maintenance days and fund raisers. Not to mention the other emergencies you are required to attend like car accidents. It represents the gratitude we feel as a nation for all that time you are required to spend away from your families and those special days you miss.
Bushfires are more difficult to put out in long unburnt, heavy fuels. Prescribed burning is important in reducing fuel loads and is undertaken periodically, is a milder burn, aiming to minimise crown scorch and usually only burns a portion of an area. It can be called prescribed burning, hazard reduction burning, controlled burning or ecological maintenance burning. Prescribed burning can use ground and aerial prescribed burning, the latter using aircraft to drop small incendiary capsules on a grid spacing that allows for mild burns and covering large areas safely. The mild burns are designed to join up late in the evening where conditions are cooler and the grid is designed for that to occur. It is important that flame heights are kept as low as possible and there are unburnt patches remaining.