Australia — A LONGER siren will alert communities around Victoria to seek information about a developing emergency.
The Victorian Government today announced changes to the CFA and community siren policy to alert country residents to emergencies.
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Deputy Premier and police and emergency services minister Peter Ryan said the policy built on a recommendation from the Bushfire’s Royal Commission Interim Report and the sirens could be used for fires, storms and floods.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has gone a step further than the Bushfires Royal Commission recommendation by adopting an ‘all-hazards and all-emergencies approach’ around the use of sirens,” Mr Ryan said.
“This policy, which will be in place prior to the next bushfire season, will add value to Victoria’s existing network of 600 community and CFA sirens which are currently under-utilised. It provides an additional tool for emergency services to practically and effectively warn people about impending danger.”
A short, 90-second signal will indicate a CFA brigade has responded to an emergency incident while a five-minute call will indicate a current emergency has been identified in the local area and people should ‘seek further information’ from emergency broadcasters, the CFA and SES websites and the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.
Mr Ryan said the new sirens policy and guidelines offered advice to communities on how to go about establishing a Community Alert Siren where no CFA siren existed.
“Victorian Coalition Government grants are available for bushfire safety initiatives, including through the $5 million Fire Ready Communities grants,” Mr Ryan said.
“Looking to the future, the Coalition Government plans to integrate Victoria’s network of sirens with the telephone-based Emergency Alert system to ensure individuals have access to multiple, simultaneous alerts about emergency incidents in their area.”