The farming community has always provided a valuable service in fighting fires. Farm units are often the first on scene at the early stages of a fire and prevent their spread. Farm units actively help during blazes. And they’re often the last to leave, usually continuing monitoring fires on properties after emergences services have left.
The CFS recognise this invaluable contribution and want to support farm fire unit owners better. So, they are currently trialling and promoting a state-wide program to register and cover farm firefighting units (FFUs) and provide them with consistent support and resources.
From the CFS website:
The value of farm firefighting units has been recognised in inquiries following the Cudlee Creek, Yorketown and Kangaroo Island fires.
In fact, these inquiries identified the need to better coordinate farm firefighting units with emergency services to ensure a common approach as well as the safety and welfare for of everyone on the fireground.
Once registered, operators will have better access to water supply, catering, welfare, insurance and safety arrangements while operating with CFS crews on firegrounds.
The system will be trialled until the end of the 2021-2022 season, with ongoing feedback sought to ensure FFU operators continue to play a valuable role in response to fires across the state.
So, how do you get the “Farm Fire Unit” window sticker on your unit?
To register, the process is simple:
1. Head here, to the CFS website.
2. Click on register.
3. Fill in your contact and FFU details, and the CFS will post the new sticker to you as a registered FFU!
In areas with established FFU coordinators, they will contact you to offer support and provide additional information about attending fires.
Important bits to note:
The CFS will NOT tell farmers when they can go to, or leave from, a fire.
Road Blocks – In most cases, FFU’S with this sticker will be treated as an emergency vehicle at a road block and allowed through, if it is safe to do so.
Communication – is about working together sharing critical information both from FFU’S and CFS. Local knowledge is VITAL. In some areas there will be a person/s acting as a “Farm Liaison” to communicate local knowledge to CFS crews and provide relevant information to FFU’S on UHF radio. If you think you can help out in this role, please contact your local CFS Brigade or Group.
Registration – The word “registration” is just referring to the administrative process of collecting information about FFU owner/operators so CFS can contact them during ‘peacetime’. (ie: invitations to pre-season events, information sharing etc).