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Thank you from the Victorian Fire Services Commissioner

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24 Oct 2013
A message from Craig Lapsley

South Eastern Australia has again proven to be an area where bushfires have threatened communities, this time in NSW and in particular the Blue Mountains. This has resulted in a very busy October with Victorian firefighters being deployed to NSW.

In the week following a request from NSW fire agencies for assistance, around 650 Victorian volunteer and career firefighters have been deployed to NSW. Our firefighters have worked alongside NSW and firefighters from other states.

CFA, DEPI, MFB, Parks Vic and SES have all been deployed as part of the Victorian support to NSW.

The roles that personnel from Victorian fire agencies and their emergency service partners have performed have been varied and include; Incident Management Team members, impact assessment team members, radio operators, staging area personnel, base camp personnel, ground observers, remote area firefighters, firefighters responding to bushfires and urban firefighters helping to protect the Sydney metropolitan area.

All have worked as one unified team under the Victorian banner.

I, along with the Chief Officers, say thank you for your contribution.

It has been an excellent deployment with much achieved in very trying conditions. The spirit of our teams and the willingness to assist has been exceptional. I know the communities in which you are working would also extend their thanks to you.

I also say thank you to all that have stayed in Victoria to provide fire coverage for our state and the many that have managed and supported the deployment of our firefighters to NSW. This thank you is extended to our firefighters families and the employers of our volunteer firefighters.

It is fair to say that the extreme risk of bushfire across NSW will not change for some weeks, with the Victorian forecast indicating a serious risk of bushfire for our state during the summer.
Again, thank you to all and keep up this great work.

Craig Lapsley, PSM

Fire Services Commissioner – Victoria

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