New firefighter chief calls for military precision

New firefighter chief calls for military precision

13 October 2010

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Australia —  CITY and country firefighters will together tackle this summer like soldiers on a battlefield, the state’s top firefighter says as he prepares for a blistering fire season.

In his first speech as fire commissioner, Craig Lapsley likened his role to Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston.

Victoria’s firefighting services, the MFB, CFA and Department of Sustainability and Environment would co-operate more under his command, he said.

”We have now got a model that is similar to the Australian Defence Force,” Mr Lapsley told a Victoria Rural Press Club breakfast.

”My job is all about making sure we can deploy integrated resources and that we have a capable fire-ready force to do it.”

A hands-off approach from former CFA chief Russell Rees and a lack of input from the MFB attracted controversy after the deadly Black Saturday fires.

The fire services’ leadership structures are being reformed as a result, Mr Lapsley said.

His comments come as Victoria braces for another fierce fire season, with the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre predicting above-normal conditions this summer.

MFB chief officer Graham Fountain welcomed a more co-ordinated approach with the CFA and Department of Sustainability and Environment.

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