A new program is currently under trial by the SA Country Fire Service designed to provide better coverage for participating farm firefighting unit operators (safety and insurance) and to better coordinate fire fighting efforts during fire events.
The value of South Australia's farm units was highlighted through various post-season reports from the 2019-2020 Black Summer season, and CFS Executive Director Frontline Services Support Georgie Cornish explains the introduction of the underway trial program, to support and coordinate FFU operators, builds on the recommendations of the Keelty Review.
"We are encouraging owners of FFUs to register with the CFS so that we can work together when they respond with our volunteers to bushfires," Ms Cornish said.
"By better coordinating our approach with FFU operators on the fireground, we will be able to provide improved support for everyone helping on the fireground."
Operators are invited to register their units and find more details about the program at https://cfs.sa.gov.au/prepare-for-a-fire/farm-fire-units/
Member for Narungga, Fraser Ellis MP, is keen to hear feedback from local farmers with farm fire fighting units who choose to participate in the trial program about their experience with the registration process, and about the trial program itself.
"Please contact me via phone or email with any feedback you have about this initiative", Mr Ellis said.
"I'm advised that once registered, operators will need to log on and log off at a fireground and while operating with CFS crews, can then be included in catering, welfare, water supply, insurance and safety arrangements.
"The system will be trialled until the end of the 2021-22 season, with ongoing feedback sought to ensure FFU operators are part of the CFS response to fires across the State."