Author: Website Coordinator

RED Friday Organization is stepping up to help

You have seen our firefighters battling the bushfires on the news. Now, some of our these brave men and women have another battle to fight against PTSD and other forms of Operational Stress Injury.

Through funding campaigns, the RED Friday Organization is stepping up to help safeguard the mental health of our Firefighters.

This video may help to shed some light on the current situation.

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World expert to help NSW bushfire recovery

Bronnie Taylor, Minister for Mental Health has urged anyone suffering from trauma or stress as a result of the State’s bushfire crisis to contact their local health service.

The Disaster Welfare Assistance Line is staffed with counselling support and can be accessed by phone on 1800 018 444.

More help can be accessed via:
NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511,
Lifeline Australia on 131114, or Lifeline’s dedicated bushfire line on 13 43 57,
Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636,
Mensline on 1300 789 978 or
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

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AFAC documentation – Respiratory Protection

Fire, land management and emergency workers can be exposed to a range of hazards and risks when completing work tasks. These may vary depending on the incident type, the urgency of response and environmental conditions.

Given the nature of emergency response work, it has been acknowledged that established safe work practices and risk management approaches that apply in non-emergency situations may not be appropriate to use while responding to an emergency. Additionally, the practice of prescribed burning gives rise to situations where it is impossible for workers to avoid some exposure to bushfire smoke. Agencies have an obligation to ensure that their responders are protected from hazards, as far as reasonably practicable, regardless of whether they are responding to an emergency or not.

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NSW Bushfires – State Memorial

A State Memorial for those impacted by the recent bushfires will take place on Sunday 23 February 2020 at the Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park. Those attending are asked to arrive from 10:30am and to be seated by 11:20am.

The event is an opportunity to bring together members of the public from across NSW to recognise the lives lost, the sacrifices made and to show support for the families and communities impacted by the fires.

All relatives, friends, representatives of involved organisations and members of the public are welcome to attend the State Memorial.

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“Chewing smoke” Are volunteer firefighters getting the protection they need?

Bushfire smoke is dangerous. It’s full of tiny suspended fine particulate matter, measuring only 2.5 micrometres (written as PM2.5). To get an idea of how small that is, a micrometre is 1000 times smaller than a millimetre. Particles that size easily get into your lungs and cause inflammation, resulting in symptoms like itchiness, coughing, watery eyes and sneezing. They get into your bloodstream and affect your respiratory, cardiovascular and immune systems and change your body’s chemical functions.

Also present in bushfire smoke are toxic contaminants like carbon monoxide, respiratory irritants (particles, formaldehyde, acrolein) and volatile organic compounds (like benzene).

That’s concerning when it’s just for a few days a year, but now that many firefighters have already clocked up over 100 days and the summer’s not yet over, there’s a debate about whether enough is being done to protect them.

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