Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Timely Reminder

 cgrassfireGisborne firefighters turned out to a grass fire on the Calder Freeway at New Gisborne on Tuesday around noon.

Within minutes of being called out to this fire another 000 call was received for a car fire in New Gisborne.

Confronted by two incidents at the same time, firefighters in the Gisborne Tanker 2 tackled a fast running fire of about 1/3 of an acre which was threatening a housing estate.

Firefighters in the Gisborne Pumper supported by the Riddells Creek Brigade tackled the car fire in New Gisborne.

Quick work from fire fighters prevented both fires from spreading and causing further damage.

Gisborne Police are currently investigating the cause of the Calder Freeway fire.

The Gisborne Captain said “whilst fire restrictions are not currently in force in the Macedon Ranges Shire, the fire today has demonstrated that grass fires can still burn readily.   Residents are reminded to remain diligent when burning off and to follow the local laws.”

If you are unsure whether you can burn-off contact the Fire Management Officer at the Macedon Ranges Shire on 5422 0333.

caldergrassfire2Other useful information can be found on the CFA website or an excellent brochure called “Can I or Can’t I” brochure can be obtained from your local Brigade on Sunday mornings.

Gisborne Fire Brigade – 5428 2596 –


Digital Listening Sets/Scanners Update

tait radioCFA’s change to digital radio dispatch channels is set to begin on 8 December in District 12, the first CFA District to migrate to the new digital frequencies on CFA Tait Radios.

The change will roll out District by District, with radio traffic still available on existing analogue radio frequencies for a period of time while the change to digital radio is bedded in.

VFBV has important advice for everyone using a listening set or scanner to monitor local Brigade activity;

  • Don’t dispose of your existing analogue set – analogue radio frequencies will still be used for incident management channels for the foreseeable future, even after regional dispatch goes digita
  • CFA will make regional dispatch available online
  • CFA is now looking at digital scanners/listening sets, with the intention of partnering with a vendor(s) to select digital sets that will be available for members to purchase at a competitive price – VFBV representatives are on the working party that will assess the machines’ suitability

The project was built into CFA’s Regional Radio Dispatch Project after VFBV’s 2010 Scanner and Listening Set Stocktake confirmed that there were thousands of sets being used by Brigades, volunteers and their families to monitor the movement of appliances and the escalation of jobs in their local area.   For operational volunteers, their scanner provided a way of predicting when their own pager might light up, and for family members, the listening set offered a way of providing support or just keeping tabs on how things were going for a volunteer in the field.

Well done to all Brigades that responded to the stocktake, which gave VFBV solid facts and figures to back what had been common volunteer wisdom up until that point, and well done to CFA Headquarters staff and in particular the Regional Radio Dispatch Project and CFA Technology Services Teams for working with VFBV and Brigades to provide flexible options that will help keep volunteers, Brigades and communities in touch with their crews in the field.

Digital radio promises more range, sensitivity and voice quality in radio communications and dedicated dispatch channels for each CFA District.

With Telstra contracted to build the new Regional Radio Dispatch network, the infrastructure build program is well advanced and once District 12 migrates across, a schedule for all CFA districts will cascade in quick succession.

Progress reports and project updates are being posted on the CFA website


Hundreds of brigades to host events for CFA Sunday

Hundreds of fire brigades across Victoria will open their doors to the community as part of CFA Sunday next weekend.

There will be fun activities including fire training demonstrations and sausage sizzles, an opportunity to take a look at fire trucks, equipment and the station and to meet local CFA firefighters.

CFA Sunday is a free event and will mainly be celebrated on Sunday, 24 November with over 200 brigades taking part (see a full list of participating brigades with exact dates of their event below).

CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said the day also provided an opportunity for people to find out how they can protect themselves, their family and property from fire this summer.

“We’re expecting another busy fire season – it’s been wet and it will be a warm summer, meaning lots of vegetation growth and lots of fuel for fire,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The fire season is already well under way – we’ve had our first Total Fire Ban and fire restrictions are already in place in parts of the Mallee and Wimmera.

Last year conditions were similar and we saw more than 4000 fires burn 190,000 hectares in Victoria.
“Now is the time to prepare your family and your home in the lead up to summer and we’re here to help – members will be on hand to provide a range of fire safety information.”

Mr Ferguson said people keen to get involved could also speak to CFA members about joining their local brigade.

“There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer with CFA that don’t just involve getting on a fire truck,” he said.

“Non-operational roles range from delivering community education, to assisting with fundraising events or activities, catering, management and recruitment.”

Mr Ferguson said CFA Sunday was a way for the public, and CFA as a whole, to recognise the great work being done by CFA’s 60,000 members to protect lives and property in Victoria.

“On behalf of CFA I thank these members for their tireless efforts and contribution to their communities.”

CFA Sunday is being held at the end of Fire Action Week which runs from 17-24 November. Members of the public can visit to find out if and when their local brigade is taking part.

Bushfire Expo this Sunday

Last minute preparations are in full swing ahead of next weekends Bushfire & Emergency Services Expo at Riddells Creek.

Residents from the Macedon Ranges and beyond are encouraged to attend the CFA Bushfire & Emergency Services Expo being held at Riddells Creek this Sunday, 17th November, from 10am to 3pm.

The expo will be an opportunity to pick up bushfire planning advice, attend a wide range of bushfire safety information seminars and meet with many agencies involved in bushfire preparation, response and recovery. Businesses which produce and sell fire safety products will feature prominently at the event and will showcase a large range of tools and items for preparing or defending a home against bushfire.

This year will be the 8th year that the event has been run and 2013 also marks the 30 year anniversary since the 1983 Ash Wednesday Bushfires devastated the Macedon Ranges. With this in mind, one of the exciting additions to this years program will see a panel discussion take place at 11.30am. Retired CFA Chairman and former Captain of the Mount Macedon Fire Brigade, Kerry Murphy, will be joined by Group Officer Ian Hay and Deputy Group Officer Marcus Bootle to share their recollections of the 1983 bushfires.

Several other presentations will take place during the day, with the highlight being a live ember-attack demonstration at 12pm that will demonstrate how burning embers can cause a timber fence to ignite, or a roof gutter to catch fire.

For further information, visit

McHappy Day

The Gisborne Fire Brigade will again lend a hand this year on McHappy Day to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House charities.

To raise funds for RMHC, McHappy Day is held annually and everyone in the McDonald’s business – franchisees, crew, managers, head office staff and suppliers – participates in some way. Celebrities and local personalities join in the fun and one dollar from every Big Mac sold is donated to RMHC. Other products and merchandise are also sold to contribute to the fundraising.

The brigade will be shaking the tin for the cause and will be showing off their truck and fire equipment to the kids and parents.

Firefighters will be at the Gisborne Mcdonalds from 2pm till 4pm, Saturday 9th November.