New bushfire system to increase firefighting efficiencies

New bushfiresystem to increase firefighting efficiencies

25 February 2008

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Australia — A new bushfire warning system has been developed byToowoomba-based bushfire specialists Bushfire Risk Reducers as part of a newCommunity Bushfire Risk Management System (CBRMS).

It aims to make it easier for emergency services to plan how to deal with abushfire and to communicate with local residents threatened by fire.

Developed in conjunction with Pine Rivers Shire Council, the emergency servicesand Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the new CBRMS is an Australian firstin that it brings together three elements to help emergency services andresidents.

These include a unique Property Planning and Mapping System developed by BRR,which assesses and manages risk at an individual property level and givesemergency services much needed field intelligence at the property level; aCommunity Bushfire Plan that gives local residents a clear idea of what theywill need to listen out for and what actions they must take; and the EmergencyWarning System itself.

The warning system has 5 components including a three phase warning siren, adirect callout mechanism to mobile phones and landlines, and a roadside LEDsignage system showing bushfire incident status and other emergency information.

“As a Rural Fire Service volunteer in my own time I understand howinformation of this quality is vital in forming a view on which properties andresidents we have a better than even chance of assisting,” says ManagingDirector of Bush Risk Reducers Alistair Hill.

“Few or none of the services responding to an incident are aware ofimportant variations at individual properties, with the exception of thoseproperties which brigade members know first hand.”

The Emergency Warning System recently was the recipient of a 2007 SaferCommunities Award and the Property Planning and Mapping System developed by BRRis currently being implemented in two other Shires, with keen interest from highrisk communities in NSW as well.

There will be a trial this Wednesday at Mt Nebo, one of Queensland’s highestbushfire risk areas, just 25kms NW of Brisbane CBD.

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