Country Fire Authority

Country Fire Authority, or CFA, is a fire service in Victoria, Australia, with other fire services being Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB). The CFA provides firefighting and emergency services to rural areas and regional towns in Victoria, and to portions of the outer suburban areas of Melbourne not covered by the MFB. Australian emergency services, including CFA, can be summoned to assist by dialling the primary emergency service telephone number, 000. Mobile phones also allow a default emergency number, 112, to be dialled.

Country Fire Authority
Country Fire Authority Australia logo

CFAemblem
Official Logo of the Country Fire Authority (top) Official seal and emblem of the Country Fire Authority (bottom)
Established1945
Location
Region served
CFA has a State headquarters and 5 regions across Victoria. Within these regions are 21 CFA districts.[2]
ServicesCombatant authority for fire, rescue and hazmat
Staff
1,321 career firefighters, 1,351 support staff and 34,586 volunteer firefighters[1]
Websitewww.cfa.vic.gov.au

History

The CFA was created on 2 April 1945 following significant bushfires during the period 1939–1944 which killed 114 people, destroyed nearly 1400 homes and damaged large areas of the state. Significant numbers of livestock also perished. Subsequent investigations by Judge Stretton at a royal commission in 1944 showed a lack of cohesive firefighting ability outside the central metropolitan area. The CFA took over existing brigades, many of which had been established in the 19th or early 20th century.[3]

The CFA operates under the Country Fire Authority Act of 1958, as amended, and its regulations. The Act has been amended many times since its initial establishment, most recently in September 2015.

Funding

Since July 2013, fire services in Victoria have been funded by a fire service property levy on council rates. The CFA budgeted income for 2013–14 was $473m, of which $448m was provided by state government contributions, and $25m was internally generated (fees and charges, interest, donations, and sales of goods and services).[4]

Additional government funding can be provided for specific staffing or training improvements, major works, or during long-duration incidents. The CFA also receives some funding from the provision of goods and services to external bodies, including Fire Equipment Maintenance (FEM). Individual brigades receive further funds from local councils, from their own fundraising activities and through donations from the community. Brigades may invest money to serve as an interest-earning vehicle, providing financial security against fiscal downturns. Some fire brigades hold large amounts of community funds to cover costs not met by CFA. These costs might include, but are not limited exclusively to, additional firefighting equipment, maintenance, improving or replacing facilities (including fire stations) and brigade-owned vehicles. Groups and brigades have also worked together with district support staff to provide financial or practical support to brigades and groups in need.[5]

CFA structure

The Country Fire Authority is established under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 (most recently amended in September 2015). The Authority is controlled by a board, and falls under the portfolio of Victorian Legislative Assembly Member, The Honourable Lisa Neville, the Minister for Emergency Services since November 29, 2018.[6]

At 1 October 2018, CFA personnel included 34,597 volunteer firefighters, 1358 career firefighters, and 1466 administrative, instructional and supporting paid staff.[7]

The Authority is controlled by a 9-member board, which includes a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.[8]

CFA's current CEO is Dr Paul Smith.[9] CFA's current Chief Officer is Steve Warrington, promoted from his previous position as Deputy Chief Officer.[10]

Regions and districts

The CFA field of operations in Victoria covers an area of more than 150,000 square kilometres and a population of 3.3 million people. It divides its operations into 5 regions, which are then subdivided into 21 districts. Each District comprises Groups of Fire Brigades.[11] The CFA regions are:

  • Loddon Mallee Region (North West)—districts 2, 14, 18 & 20
  • Grampians Region (West)—districts 15, 16 & 17
  • Barwon South-West Region (South West)—districts 4, 5, 6 & 7
  • Hume Region (North East)—districts 12, 13, 22, 23 & 24
  • Gippsland Region (South East)—districts 8, 9, 10, 11 & 27.

Fire brigades and resources

CFA resources include 1,220 brigades, of which 941 are rural volunteer brigades, 204 urban volunteer brigades, 36 integrated brigades (stations manned by career firefighters and volunteer firefighters), 23 forest industry brigades, and 17 coast guard brigades.[12] The CFA's integrated fire brigades are in Ballarat City, Belmont, Bendigo, Boronia, Caroline Springs, Corio, Craigieburn, Cranbourne, Dandenong, Eltham, Frankston, Geelong City, Greenvale, Hallam, Hoppers Crossing, Lara, Lucas, Melton, Mildura, Mornington, Morwell, Ocean Grove, Pakenham, Patterson River, Point Cook, Portland, Rosebud, Rowville, Shepparton, South Morang, South Warrandyte, Springvale, Sunbury, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, and Wodonga.[13]

CFA operates more than 4,000 vehicles, including 1,970 4WD tankers, 264 pumpers, 11 hydraulic platform (aerial) trucks, 28 rescue tenders, 16 hazmat vehicles plus numerous other vehicles including communications vans, lighting trucks, command and transport vehicles. This fleet is supplemented by more than 1,400 brigade-owned vehicles. Brigade-owned vehicles are paid for by local communities, sometimes with the assistance of government grants. CFA also lease a large fleet of firefighting aircraft to assist brigades throughout the busy Summer fire season. The fleet comprises rotary and fixed wing aircraft, from small single-engined planes up to Very Large Aerial Tankers, based on commercial passenger jets.

The CFA has 1,200 base radios, 5,800 vehicle radios, 3,000 hand held radios, 35,000 EAS pagers, 58 satellite terminals and 10,700 pre-conference telephone interceptors.[13]

Coast guard brigades

In 2005, the CFA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard to establish CFA coast guard brigades.[14] Under the MoU, all Victorian coast guard vessels will have CFA radios installed, EAS (Emergency Alerting System) pagers as used by the CFA as well as basic firefighting tools including a small pump and hoses.[15] Additionally all coast guard members are to receive basic CFA firefighting training and some land-based brigades will receive marine firefighting training.[13]

Communications

In Victoria, the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) provides dispatch and call-taking services for Police, Ambulance, State Emergency Service and both rural and metropolitan fire services. ESTA operates over three sites, located in Melbourne CBD, East Burwood, and Mount Helen, in Ballarat.

Many ESTA practices and protocols are standardised across all emergency services, allowing all agencies to utilise the same computer network. This enables complete and instantaneous information sharing between emergency services.[16] ESTA is also responsible for Victoria's State Emergency Service call-taking and dispatch for non life-threatening storm damage or flooding via 132 500.[17]

When a caller dials 000 for emergency response within Victoria, an operator will connect them to the relevant ESTA facility, where call-takers collect information from the caller for entry into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. Using this information, a dispatcher will respond the appropriate emergency resources. Services are often already being notified by the dispatcher while the call-taker is still obtaining further information or giving advice, such as guiding the caller through CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

When ESTA is notified of an incident, they send an emergency message via pager to firefighters. While this is usually the result of a call to 000, brigades or appliances may also be dispatched by other agencies such as Victoria Police or Ambulance Victoria, or at the request of an Incident Controller on scene. Brigades are dispatched based on various factors including the time of day, location and type of fire or incident. Although each fire brigade has a primary response area, support brigades are often dispatched to ensure a prompt response. Specialist vehicles may also be dispatched, especially for incidents such as for road accident rescue or large structural fires where the response is anticipated.

Fire districts

Victoria is divided into nine fire districts:[18]

  • Mallee
  • Wimmera
  • South West
  • Northern Country
  • North Central
  • Central
  • North East
  • East Gippsland
  • West and South Gippsland.

The CFA announces fire danger ratings, total fire ban declarations and fire restrictions, which apply to all municipalities within a fire district:

  • The Fire Danger Ratings are forecast for four days.
  • A Total Fire Ban is declared for each district by CFA on days when fires are likely to spread rapidly and could be difficult to control, and means that no fires can be lit for the declared district for that day—irrespective of the Fire Restriction status for a given municipality.
  • Fire Restrictions come into force when entered into the Government Gazette.

Operational Ranks

CFA provides separate rank structures to cater for volunteer firefighters and career firefighters. Not all CFA positions are listed.

Operational Ranks for Volunteer Firefighters
Group Officer
Deputy Group Officer
Captain
Lieutenant
Firefighter
Operational Ranks for Career Firefighters
Chief Officer
Deputy Chief Officer
Assistant Chief Officer
Operations Manager
Operations Officer
Senior Station Officer
Station Officer
Leading Firefighter
Qualified Firefighter
Firefighter

Proposed Changes

On 19 May 2017, Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino proposed changes to the Victorian fire services.[19] These changes include rationalisation and realignment of fire district boundaries as well as changes to the structure of fire fighting services within the State of Victoria.[20]

Training

"CFA's regional training campuses allow firefighters to experience operational scenarios, including live fires, in a safe, controlled and realistic environment. This is essential in developing and maintaining skills needed to fulfil the mission of protecting lives and property in Victorian communities."[21]

The CFA operates seven Regional Training Campuses:

In May 2017, CFA announced the construction of a new training facility near the town of Ballan, about 70 kilometres West of Melbourne. The new Ballan training grounds will be utilised predominantly by CFA's volunteer firefighters, as CFA's career firefighters now attend the VEMTEC college in Melbourne's Northern Suburbs. Expanding urban and industrial zones inside CFA's areas of response, are necessitating the building of additional integrated fire stations and the employment of more paid staff.

Career firefighters are employed following an exhaustive selection process. They commence with a 19-week course, learning basic firefighting and emergency handling skills, before being posted to initial "transitional" positions, where they are introduced to on-station life and work practices. They must then complete a station-based probationary learning period, followed by 4 years of practical and theory subjects relevant to the occupation. Firefighters achieving this level with sufficient subject marks, are promoted to the rank of Qualified Firefighter. They may then commence studies for assessment and promotion to the ranks of Leading Firefighter, Station Officer and Senior Station Officer.

CFA's volunteer firefighters must complete Wildfire "minimum skills" course, prior to being deemed competent to respond to fire and emergency calls. Progression to Officer ranks at the volunteer firefighter level occurs following election by fellow Volunteer Fire Brigade members.

Major incidents

The CFA has been involved in a number of major fires over the years where lives have been lost, including:

CFA deployments have also assisted during interstate fires such as the 2002 Black Christmas bushfires fires in Sydney and the 2003 Canberra bushfires. In late 2015, CFA firefighters were deployed to the South Australian fires, in support of CFS and SAFS crews. During February and March 2016, hundreds of CFA volunteer firefighters and some career firefighters were deployed across Bass Strait, where they assisted Tasmanian firefighters working on the North West Tasmanian fires. Many CFA firefighting, communications and specialist vehicles were ferried over as well.

Activities

The CFA is involved in responding to non-fire incidents, in addition to firefighting operations. CFA has a leading role in prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of fires and other incidents.[22] The CFA is responsible for combatting all fires on private land in Victoria outside of the Metropolitan Fire District, including Structure Fires and Bushfires. The CFA has a shared responsibility for rescues with the Victorian State Emergency Service and the MFB. In addition to response activities, CFA members also run prevention programs such as Fire Ready Victoria[23] and Fire Safe Kids. Fire Safe Kids is an education program for Pre-Primary and Primary School students which teaches Fire Safety and the Role of Firefighters in the Community.[24]

CFA is responsible, along with other Victorian emergency services, for some specialist response functions, including:

  • Confined Space Rescue
  • Trench Rescue
  • High Angle Rescue
  • Road Accident Rescue
  • Industrial Rescue
  • Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)
  • Aviation Response
  • Marine Response
  • Hazardous Materials Response
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological (CBR) Response
  • Emergency Medical Response (EMR)
    Thanks to a $46.7 million contribution by the State Labour Government, the EMR program has been expanded to all Integrated CFA Fire Stations. Paid firefighters are EMR trained to respond to medical emergencies, improving the chance of the patient's survival. The EMR program sees paid firefighters and paramedics dispatched at the same time to assist in life-threatening medical emergencies."[25] Three Volunteer Brigades, namely Berwick, Edithvale and Whittlesea, are also "EMR Qualified" and may be called upon to assist Ambulance Victoria.

Representative Bodies

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) was established under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 to represent Volunteer Fire Brigades, working with CFA and the Victorian Government to ensure ongoing commitment to the Volunteer Charter.[26]
The Victorian Branch of the United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFU) was established on 22 January 1911 and represents paid firefighters throughout Victoria.[27] Volunteer firefighters may join the UFU as associate members. The UFU funds valuable research into firefighting technologies to benefit both paid and unpaid firefighters.
In November 2016, a third representative body came into being. The Victorian Volunteer Firefighters Association (VVFA) was established 4 October 2016,[28] and represents individual volunteer firefighters, a move stemming from recognition that VFBV focus on brigades as a whole, rather than on individual volunteer members. Most CFA Volunteer Brigades are members of VFBV. A small minority have chosen to stay as non-members of VFBV.

Championships

VFBV organise, promote and conduct the Urban and Rural State Fire Brigade Championships. In this series of exciting sporting events, Volunteer brigades compete in challenges based on past and (modified) current firefighting practices. In 2019, the Rural State Championships will be held at Bendigo, on 6 and 7 April. The 2019 State Junior Championships will be held at Kerang, on 23 and 24 February. The upcoming State Urban Championships are going to be in Bendigo from 9 to 11 March 2019.[29]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b CFA Annual Report 2017-18
  2. ^ Contact Us (accessed 25 August 2016)
  3. ^ History – Country Fire Authority (accessed 30 September 2015)
  4. ^ CFA Funding
  5. ^ "CFA pulls together to help dairy communites". CFA. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  6. ^ Ansell, Benjamin (November 29, 2019). "Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews unveils reshuffled cabinet with 50 percent women in senior positions". Nine News. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "CFA "At a glance"". CFA. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  8. ^ S 6F, Country Fire Authority Act 1958, authorised version 151 (23 September 2015)[1]
  9. ^ https://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/-/cfa-welcomes-new-ceo-dr-paul-smith CFA welcomes new CEO Dr Paul Smith (accessed 11.21 AM 07 November 2018)
  10. ^ CO Steve Warrington message (accessed 4.17 PM 28 July 2016)
  11. ^ Editor Sigley, G. (2008). Brigade Magazine, Winter Edition. Country Fire Authority.
  12. ^ http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/stations/#stash.YExSuSkP.dpuf
  13. ^ a b c CFA Annual Report 2013. Accessed 10 April 2010
  14. ^ Conference Proceedings Website. Accessed 21 November 2008
  15. ^ CFA Annual Report 2008 – Operations Report. Accessed 21 November 2008 Archived 2 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Centralised service for triple-0 calls". 30 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  17. ^ Emergency Call-Taking & Dispatch Accessed 06 October 2016
  18. ^ Find your fire district
  19. ^ "Fire Services Bill – Parliament Victoria website" (PDF).
  20. ^ "CFA committee submissions" (PDF).
  21. ^ Training Campuses Environmental Management & Safety Accessed 06 October 2016
  22. ^ CFA Annual Report Report of Operations Archived 26 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 21 November 2008
  23. ^ Fire Ready Victoria Archived 26 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 21 November 2008
  24. ^ Fire Safe Kids Accessed 06 October 2016
  25. ^ [news.cfa.vic.gov.au/news/more-cfa-stations-now-emr-capable More CFA stations now EMR capable]
  26. ^ Our Role VFBV 29 July 2016
  27. ^ 100 Years of the United Firefighters Union UFU Victoria 22 January 2011
  28. ^ VVFA About Us
  29. ^ "Upcoming Urban Championships". VFBV.

External links

Related links

Barwon Downs

Barwon Downs is a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is located in the foothills of the Otway Ranges, 151 kilometres (94 mi) south west of the state capital, Melbourne. The township was proclaimed on 10 May 1910. In the 2016 census, Barwon Downs had a population of 131.The main industries in the area are agriculture, forestry and tourism. The town has a church, tennis courts and public hall. Barwon Downs also has a local Country Fire Authority (CFA) with members from the local community. Since the 1990s an aquifer in the Barwon Downs area have been used as a supply of water for Geelong in periods of drought.

Bushfires in Australia

Bushfires are frequent events during the warmer months of the year, due to Australia's mostly hot, dry climate. Each year, such fires impact extensive areas. On one hand, they can cause property damage and loss of human life. Certain native flora in Australia have evolved to rely on bushfires as a means of reproduction, and fire events are an interwoven and an essential part of the ecology of the continent. For thousands of years, Indigenous Australians have used fire to foster grasslands for hunting and to clear tracks through dense vegetation.

Major firestorms that result in severe loss of life are often named based on the day on which they occur, such as Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday. Some of the most intense, extensive and deadly bushfires commonly occur during droughts and heat waves, such as the 2009 Southern Australia heat wave, which precipitated the conditions during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in which 173 people lost their lives. Other major conflagrations include the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, the 2003 Eastern Victorian alpine bushfires and the 2006 December Bushfires.

Global warming is increasing the frequency and severity of bushfires.

Bushfires in Victoria

The state of Victoria in Australia has had a long history of catastrophic bushfires, the most recent of these, the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 claiming 173 lives. Legislation, planning, management and suppression are the responsibilities of the Victorian State Government through its departments and agencies including the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Buxton, Victoria

Buxton is a small town 104 kilometres (65 mi) north-east of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. At the 2016 Census, Buxton had a population of 233.The district around Buxton was significantly impacted by the Black Saturday bushfires. It was isolated for several days with no telephone or power.

Today Buxton remains a small township with a roadhouse, a Post Office, general store, a fishing and outdoors store, Salmon and Trout Farm, Hotel, a town hall, a primary school, nursery and several bed and breakfasts.

It has an active Country Fire Authority station with one tanker and one slip-on unit. The Buxton Fire Brigade was formed in 1943 and officially recognised on 25 February 1944.After the 2009 Black Saturday fires, the Marysville Police station was temporarily relocated in Buxton until the new station was opened in 2012.The igloo roadhouse was established in 1944. The Buxton Primary School opened in 1875. Buxton Post Office opened on 1 February 1873.

Coongulla, Victoria

Coongulla is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on Ryans Road, on the shores of Lake Glenmaggie in the Shire of Wellington. The postcode for Coongulla and the surrounding towns is 3860. At the 2006 census, Coongulla and the surrounding area had a population of 183. Coongulla is 160 km from Melbourne.

There are approx 337 separate houses in Coongulla. Of the people in Coongulla, 83.6% are Australian-born. Of the immigrants, most are from the United Kingdom.

Median age of persons in the town 57.

The Lake Glenmaggie Weir supplies irrigation water for all the farms in the area and also supplies drinking water to Maffra, Coongulla, Glenmaggie and Newry.

Some of the most common activities for locals and holidayers are: night walks, swimming, bike riding, canoeing or kayaking, yachting, grass boarding on gravel, water sports, and motorbike riding.

A Country Fire Authority brigade began services for the town and surrounds on 28 May 1972.

Country Fire Authority appliances

The Country Fire Authority appliances used throughout the state of Victoria by the CFA are provided through a mixture of State Government funds, money provided through insurance contributions as well as donations from both members of the public and external parties.Firefighting appliances utilised within the CFA are all painted white over orange/red with undercarriages painted black, equipped with red/blue flashing emergency lights and sirens.

Dead man zone

The dead man zone is the area directly around a bushfire that is likely to burn within five minutes given the current wind conditions or an anticipated change in wind direction. The distance this zone extends from the firefront is highly dependent on terrain, windspeed, fuel type and composition, relative humidity and ambient temperature, and can range from under 100 m to well over 1 km.

Doreen, Victoria

Doreen is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 26 km north-east from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government areas are the City of Whittlesea and the Shire of Nillumbik. Doreen recorded a population of 21,298 at the 2016 Census.

Patrick Reid settled the area in 1844, calling it "Hazel Glen". The Post Office opened on 8 December 1870 as Hazelglen and was renamed Doreen in 1895.The area has a community hall and a Country Fire Authority fire station.

Fentons Creek, Victoria

Fentons Creek is a small town in Victoria, Australia. It is located near Wedderburn in the Loddon Shire. A creek with the same name runs along the edge of the township. At the 2006 census, the suburb had a population of 115.

The town covers a large area. At a central spot there is a Country Fire Authority station/shed, a chapel and an old schoolhouse that is no longer used. The chapel is struggling to stay open but still holds services with a priest from Heathcote because of supportive locals.

Hazelwood North, Victoria

Hazelwood North is a locality in Victoria, Australia. It has a population of 1220 (as of the 2006 census).Max Cranwell, who died in a 2009 plane crash in Papua New Guinea, resided in Hazelwood North until his death.Hazelwood North is so named due to its geographical orientation from the town "Hazelwood" - Now known as Churchill, Victoria. Composed of mostly five acre blocks, the district functions primarily as a commuter town for those working in the nearby regional centres of Morwell and Traralgon. Historically the area was used by graziers and small-scale farmers.

The district is served by the public Hazelwood North Primary School, and the Hazelwood North town hall. Both of which are located along Church Road, which runs through the district's centre. The area is somewhat prone to bush and grass fires during the summer months, and was the scene of a relatively small outbreak during the 2009 black saturday bushfires. The Hazelwood North Fire Brigade, a volunteer brigade administered by the Country Fire Authority serves the area.

Indigo Valley, Victoria

Indigo Valley is a valley and bounded locality in Victoria, Australia stretching approximately between Yackandandah and the Hume Highway near Barnawartha. The Indigo Creek flows through it.

Indigo Valley was formerly part of the Shire of Chiltern but now forms part of the Shire of Indigo, to which it lends its name.

Indigo Valley has a Country Fire Authority volunteer fire brigade and a state primary school called Middle Indigo Primary School.

The population of Indigo Valley was 561 in the Australian 2006 Census

Jane Garrett

Jane Furneaux Garrett (born 16 March 1973) is an Australian politician. She was the Labor Party member for Brunswick in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 2010 until 2018, when she transferred to the Victorian Legislative Council representing Eastern Victoria.Garrett was a candidate on the Left ticket for the position of ALP National President. She was elected to the position of National junior Vice President and began her term in December 2011.

Prior to the 2014 state election, Garrett served as shadow cabinet secretary.

After winning re-election in 2014, Garrett was appointed as Minister for Emergency Services and Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming & Liquor Regulation in the newly elected Andrews Labor government.On 9 June 2016 Garrett resigned from the Andrews Ministry, after a dispute between the Country Fire Authority (CFA), the United Firefighters Union, and the Victorian government over an enterprise bargaining agreement.At about 4:00pm on 15 August 2016, Garrett was assaulted by a woman in Carlton.In November 2016, Garrett announced on a Facebook post that she had recently undergone a successful operation for breast cancer, and would be taking four months of leave from parliament for treatment and recovery.On 27 September 2017, Garrett announced she would not contest Brunswick at the next state election, and would seek preselection for the Victorian Legislative Council seat of Western Metropolitan Region. Her preselection bid was unsuccessful, with Labor's left faction backing Ingrid Stitt, branch secretary of the Australian Services Union. However, she was subsequently preselected to head the Labor ticket in Eastern Victoria Region.

Kangaroo Island bushfires

The Kangaroo Island bushfires were a series of bushfires caused by lightning strikes on 6 December 2007 on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, resulting in 95,000 ha of land being destroyed. The fires occurred mainly across the western side of the island near Flinders Chase National Park, Vivonne Bay, D'Estrees Bay, Western River and Riverleas.

The D'Estrees Bay fire in Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park was contained by 12 December 2007, while intense fires in the west, which included the protected areas of Flinders Chase National Park and Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area, were more difficult to extinguish.On 14 December 2007, the Country Fire Service officially announced that all fires were contained. The event was South Australia's largest bush fire operation to date with over 800 personnel, 7 fixed wing water bombers and an Elvis Skycrane Helitanker all assisting in firefighting efforts, together with units from Victoria's Country Fire Authority and the Rural Fire Service of New South Wales.

Lethbridge, Victoria

Lethbridge is a rural township outside Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Bluestone from Lethbridge quarries was used to build several significant buildings in Melbourne, including the steps to the Parliament House. At the 2016 census, Lethbridge had a population of 1,014.Lethbridge Post Office opened on 10 September 1857 and closed in 1980.The community of Lethbridge has a range of facilities and services including:

Lethbridge Primary School

The town hall (which offers community groups include Playgroup, Karate, Cub scouts and individual functions)

Lethbridge Airpark

Sports facility (with two football ovals and a tennis court)

General store

Country Fire Authority

Lethy LakeThe railway came to the town with the opening of the Geelong-Ballarat line in 1862, with the local railway station opened soon after, but today only grain and fruit trains use the line.

Moranghurk, a Lethbridge homestead dating from approximately the 1840s, located on the Midland Highway, is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.Peter Lalor, the leader of the Eureka Stockade rebellion, hid overnight in Lethbridge while fleeing from Ballarat to Geelong in November 1854.

George Elmslie, first Labor Premier of Victoria, was born in Lethbridge in 1861.

Linton Bushfire

The Linton Bushfire was a wildfire that burned through private land and state forests near the township of Linton, Victoria, Australia on the 2nd of December 1998. Firefighters from the Victorian state government's Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Country Fire Authority (CFA) were deployed to put out the fire. At approximately 8.45pm, two firefighting appliances and their crews were entrapped and engulfed in fire following an unexpected wind change. The Linton bushfire covered a maximum land of 660 hectares of private and public land.

Paul Edbrooke

Paul Andrew Edbrooke (born 5 December 1978) is an Australian politician. He has been an Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly since November 2014, representing the Legislative Assembly seat of Frankston.He was raised in the Latrobe Valley, with both parents highly active in the Salvation Army, and his father a Corps Sergeant Major. Edbrooke moved to Frankston in 2001, and now lives in Mount Eliza with his family.

Edbrooke is a former teacher and firefighter with the Country Fire Authority (CFA), based at Frankston fire station.

He mostly taught in Special Developmental Schools.

Over fourteen years as a career firefighter, Edbrooke worked at some of the state's largest and most complex fires, including the Dandenong Dunlopillo factory fire, Black Saturday fires and the Morwell coal mine fire, where it is recorded that he was almost killed during a night shift. The platoon he worked on at Frankston Fire Station was once known as 'deadly D shift' due to the amount of trauma they attended.

In 2009, he was awarded a Chief Officer's commendation for rescuing a victim from a house fire and resuscitating her with his platoon. Two persons were rescued and one firefighter hospitalised. In 2013 he was awarded a CFA service award. In 2014 he was awarded the National Service Medal (Black Saturday). Up until his election he was a United Firefighter's Union Shop Steward.

Edbrooke chaired the $63 million Frankston Transit Precinct Taskforce and currently chairs the same project's implementation governance board, which includes CEOs from South East Water, Peninsula Health, Chisholm TAFE and Monash University.

Stonehaven, Victoria

Stonehaven is a small settlement about 10 km west of Geelong, Victoria, on the Hamilton Highway. It consists of a number of scattered farmhouses, the former primary school building (now a private residence), a community hall (now derelict) and a Country Fire Authority (CFA) fire station. The fire station is sometimes used as a polling booth for state and federal elections. The Ceres Bridge Estate winery has its vineyard in Stonehaven, producing chardonnay and pinot noir.The community started agitating for a post office as early as 1883, when over 30 people signed a petition to the government. The Stonehaven Post Office opened in 1927 and was closed in 1958.The school was No. 2199. A contract for £320 15s 6d to build a wooden school building was given to H. Moran in April 1879. From 1879 to 1926 the school was known as the Lower Leigh State School. In 1880 the teacher, J. McCann, wrote to the Geelong Advertiser about the difficulty students from Barrabool had reaching the school after a flood had damaged the bridge. In 1935 the Public Works Department approved additions to the teacher's residence at the school to a value of £309.In 1953, farmers discovered rabbits at Stonehaven which had become immune to myxomatosis. These so-called "super rabbits" had appeared only three years after the virus had been released to control rabbit numbers.

In 2012 a CFA fire truck became bogged in a paddock at Stonehaven while fighting a grass fire. The crew had to abandon the $500,000 tanker which was extensively damaged by the fire.

Swan Marsh

Swan Marsh is a town in the Western District of Victoria, Australia. The town is located in the Colac Otway Shire local government area, 168 kilometres (104 mi) south west of the state capital, Melbourne.

The area around Swan Marsh was first settled by Europeans in the mid 19th century. The area was described as ""wet, marshy land, forest and some beautiful cleared rich gently sloping high land." The swamps were drained using bullock teams and hand labour to install large drains—the beginnings of the Tirrengower Drainage Scheme. The name "Swan Marsh" was derived from the swans prevalent in the local area. In 1907, the area saw closer settlement with 60-acre (24 ha) blocks created and allocated mainly to young families. The Swan Marsh dairy, operated by the Colac and District Company, was built in 1901. From the 1930s to its closure in 1956, the dairy produced casein.Swan Marsh today has four businesses: the post office, the general store/take away food outlet, a peat mine and a water carter. Community facilities include the football ground/recreation reserve, public hall, tennis courts and a speedway circuit. The town hosts a Country Fire Authority volunteer brigade. Swan Marsh Primary School services the town.

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