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As brave as these fire fighters are: they need water

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CFA is a sophisticated and effective fire-fighting organisation – but they need water!

By Russell Luckock

The modern CFA is an extraordinarily effective organisation of volunteers, regulars and administration that maximises the fire response in a combined effort with other emergency services such as DEWLP, SES, Police and Ambulance.

Historically, the Country Fire Authority grew out of a grass-roots need for farmers and locals to protect themselves in one of the worst fire regions of the world. The loss of a five-person fire truck crew at Linton nearly twenty years ago rocked the organisation and in subsequent years they have developed equipment upgrades, public preparedness campaigns and especially training and more training to such an extent that not one of their personnel was lost on Black Saturday; the worst fire danger day in Victoria’s history. And the CFA, in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology, had given warnings in the days before that tragic day of the extreme danger -thus encouraging the public to prepare for it. The CFA’s fire-fighting equipment is sophisticated, capable and effective in trying to save lives and property. But it requires water – water that is available close by and plenty of it. One example, Ballarat CFA’s ladder pumper is capable of spraying 4,000 litres per minute onto a fire if necessary. So the CFA is doing its bit in trying to protect people and assets in each community with its now-powerful equipment. Perhaps it’s now the turn of each community to help ensure that the CFA’s fire-ground tankers have adequate water wherever a fire starts. Each community can ask itself the question ‘if a fire started near here, where would the CFA and DEWLP find water close by?’