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Supporting our volunteers
THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management
LAURA SMYTH Federal Member for La Trobe
15 January 2013 SUPPORTING OUR VOLUNTEERS
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon today paid tribute to Mr Peter Cramer, the Victorian firefighter who sadly passed away while assisting the people of Tasmania recover from their recent fires.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth Government and all Australians, I extend my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to Mr Cramer’s family and to the Victorian firefighting community who have lost a colleague this week.
“Our emergency service personnel provide tremendous support to local communities in their time of need. They are a strong network of professional staff and volunteers who would be feeling sadness and loss at the news of their fallen colleague,” Mr Roxon said.
Ms Roxon along with the Federal Member for La Trobe Laura Smyth MP today visited the Sassafras-Ferny Creek CFA to thank local volunteers for the critical work they do.
“With many communities across Australia experiencing severe bushfire conditions, we are reminded of the crucial role our CFA, SES and other emergency service volunteers play in safeguarding and supporting our communities during times of crisis,” Ms Roxon said.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our fire fighting efforts and Victorian communities are better protected because of the work they do.”
“Volunteers in our community have a proud history of fighting to save properties and lives against the worst conditions,” Ms Smyth said.
“Many from Olinda to Berwick are helping others by battling fires right now across the country, and I am so thankful for their efforts.”
Ms Roxon urged locals to have bushfire plans in place and said that while disasters can be unpredictable people can be better prepared.
“It’s important to be aware of your local emergency services, how you can support the volunteers that support you, the local evacuation plan for your child’s school or who to call if you’re in trouble,” Ms Roxon said.
“Up-to-date information is critical when disaster strikes. Thanks to our improvements to the Emergency Alert system, locals and visitors to Sassafras or Ferny Creek or
the Hills generally will be able to receive emergency alerts to their Telstra mobile phone if disaster does strike.”
Telstra mobile phone customers will benefit from the technology this season with Vodafone and Optus mobile phone customers to follow later this year. All landlines and mobile phones, regardless of carrier, will still be able to receive Emergency Alert warnings based on the registered service address of the handset.
Ms Smyth said that while Emergency Alert is an important resource, it is just one way that authorities may warn a community of an impending threat.
“The local community should always remember that staying aware of conditions and listening to various information outlets such as radio, TV, emergency management websites and social media is also important,” Ms Smyth said.
“The Federal Government’s Preparing for the Unexpected brochure and the Red Cross’s Emergency REDiPlan are both good resources to help Australians be better prepared should disaster strike.
“Preparing an emergency kit that includes items like a battery-operated radio, torch, first aid kit and medications supplies is also a good idea.”
Attorney-General’s Office on 02 6277 7300 or Ms Smyth’s Office on 03 9796 1788