As well as providing emergency services, South Warrandyte Fire Brigade is committed to participating in the local community. In fact, some of our most important activities take place away from the fire ground.
Research indicates that education, rather than fire fighting, is the best way to create a safer community. Our delivery of education programs locally will ensure that resident awareness and knowledge improves. The brigade offers education programs targeted at all age groups from the very young to the very old. House fires, bushfires and general safety are all addressed within our suite of educational tools. The brigade currently delivers the following initiatives to the community:
Brigades in Schools
Brigades in Schools is aimed at primary school children and focuses on home and outdoor fire safety, basic survival techniques as well as the prevention of fire and emergencies. The program is highly interactive and in great demand by our local schools. Last year, South Warrandyte Fire Brigade delivered Brigades in Schools lessons to over 300 local children.
Community Fireguard was developed by CFA for householders who live in high bushfire risk areas. The program encourages neighbours to meet regularly, learn about bushfire survival and implement household and neighbourhood plans. Community Fireguard is designed to assist the community to face fires as a group - so that the most capable assist the most vulnerable in coping. There are currently five active Community Fireguard groups in the South Warrandyte area.
Fire Ready Victoria
Fire Ready Victoria is another successful awareness program for residents which is delivered by the brigade each summer. Key messages of preparation, fire science, preparedness and planning are delivered.
The Isolated Elderly program
The Isolated Elderly program trains carers of the elderly and to identify common causes of house fire, such as faulty appliances and high risk behaviours. Carers receive a simple checklist to be used in elderly people's homes and are given contact numbers so that they can organise for problems to be resolved if they are identified. Last year the brigade agreed to deliver the program to all carers of the elderly who are registered with the local council.
Early Fire Safe
Early Fire Safe is an educational session for parents with children aged up to five years old. One of the groups most vulnerable to injury by fire, small children are generally unable to protect themselves. The session teaches parents how to make their homes as safe from fire as possible and how to reduce the risk of injury to their children.
Other Events and Activities
One of the most popular events on the calendar is our Santa Run. For over 40 years, the brigade has organised Santa to ride on the back of our fire truck on the Sunday before Christmas. Santa tours through the streets of our brigade area, delivering Twisties to local children.
We are also involved in events run by other groups within the local community - school fetes, the Warrandyte Fair, activities of service clubs and associations as well as fundraising for the Salvation Army and the Royal Children's Hospital.