Improved emergency services response for bushfire season

Monday, 22 August, 2016

Improved emergency services response for bushfire season

The National Resource Sharing Centre is supporting Australian firefighters and emergency response agencies as the nation moves towards the next bushfire season.

Established in February 2016, the National Resource Sharing Centre exists to support the deployment of personnel and equipment between jurisdictions, in response to conditions that the receiving state or territory is unable to manage by itself. It is partially funded by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and works within the National Aerial Firefighting Centre.

Paul Considine, manager of the National Resource Sharing Centre, said, “Fire and emergency services are resourced to meet the foreseeable demand in each state and territory. It’s not economical or achievable to resource each state for every possible crisis or disaster that may occur. For many years Australian and New Zealand fire and emergency services and land management agencies have worked together to share resources in times of high operational activity.

 “As we continue to grow, we may look at regional demand to support the movement of resources for prevention activities such as planned burning,” said Considine.

“In times of crisis, when bushfires burn for significant periods of time, or if a large cyclone hits, personnel are fatigued, or specialist skills or equipment are required, other states can be activated to rapidly deploy and support. Fire and emergency services in Australia and New Zealand operate using a common incident management system, making skills transferable and resource sharing very effective.”

A major initiative actioned by the National Resource Sharing Centre is the Australia–Canada framework. This bilateral arrangement is the first of its kind endorsed by both governments at a national level and is designed to support international deployments when required.

“With the National Resource Sharing Centre on hand to support agencies and jurisdictions through the upcoming disaster season, we have the systems in place to expedite action when required — allowing them to obtain resources from across the nation or overseas,” said Considine.

Considine will speak at the upcoming AFAC16 conference powered by INTERSCHUTZ. His session is titled ‘Partnership through resource sharing: The National Resource Sharing Centre Project’. The event showcases the latest developments in emergency services equipment and technology from around the globe to the Australasian region. It will be held from 30 August–1 September at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Image credit: © Donahue

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