Western Australia continues to lead the training of bush fire managers in the Australasian region through hosting initiatives such as the advanced incident leadership program being held in Busselton this week.
Environment Minister Judy Edwards, who opened the course this morning, said the program was very selective, drawing participants from around the nation and New Zealand to undertake an intensive leadership course in fire emergency management.
“Fire emergency management systems and the ability to deliver them efficiently and effectively are an integral part of land management and community protection in the Australasian region,” she said.
“In January this year, WA experienced the biggest fire in the northern jarrah forest east of Perth since 1961. The suppression effort involved the biggest combined operation undertaken by staff from Department of Conservation and Land Management, the Forest Products Commission, fire authorities and volunteer brigades, police and support agencies.
“The combat of this fire required intensive planning and collaborative actions. It relied heavily on strategic management operations as well as trained and competent managers, who lead staff and the community through often hazardous operations.
“Educational courses such as the advanced incident leadership program are essential in this regard as they provide trained managers who can strategically lead staff in emergency management incidents.”
Dr Edwards said the advanced leadership course was an intensive three-month program that involved distance learning followed by a six-day residential component.
It was developed by CALM and was now a nationally recognised program for senior emergency managers.
“The 20 nominated participants in the course are guided by four coaches who have been chosen for their knowledge of incident management and experience in developing leadership skills,” she said.
“The residential phase involves six days of intensive learning in eight modules covering communication, decision-making and risk management among others.”
The Minister said the course was an excellent example of interstate and overseas interagency co-operation and support and highlighted why the Australasian region is called upon to help with fire emergency situations around the world.
Minister's office - 9220 5050