The NSW Government has commissioned an independent expert inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season to provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season.
Early detection and suppression have greatly improved the survivability of people and property in an urban firefighting context, so why shouldn’t we adopt the same principles to look after the bush?
Early intervention improves other emergency response scenarios such as a first aid response to cardiac arrest.
Perhaps we should follow a bushfire survival chain.
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was established on 20 February 2020 in response to the extreme bushfire season of 2019-20 which resulted in loss of life, property and wildlife and environmental destruction.
Referred to as the ‘Bushfires Royal Commission’, the Commission will examine coordination, preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters as well as improving resilience and adapting to changing climatic conditions and mitigating the impact of natural disasters. The inquiry will also consider the legal framework for Commonwealth involvement in responding to national emergencies.
The Commission is now accepting public submissions on the 2019-20 bushfire season from individuals, community groups and the broader community.
Submissions will close on Friday, 3 April 2020.
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.
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.
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.