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10
May

Becoming Fire-Fit: Preparing for the Unexpected and the Unimagined

Greetings! My name is Rachel Westcott. I’m a veterinarian, emergency manager and researcher. I’m delighted to be back at ANZDMC in 2019. I completed my PhD in 2018, as part of the Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre’s Managing Animals in Disasters project. My PhD topic is essentially public-health- meets-natural-hazards, and is about normalising

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18
Jan

Australia’s ‘Deadliest Natural Hazard’: What’s Your Heatwave Plan?

Heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural hazard, but a recent survey has found that many vulnerable people do not have plans to cope with extreme heat. Working with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre and the Bureau of Meteorology, my colleagues and I surveyed 250 residents and 60 business managers in Western Sydney and the NSW North

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06
Sep

Virtual Reality, Drones and Big Data Changing the Way Firefighters Approach the Job

A new virtual reality technology promises to change the way firefighters safely train and prepare for particularly dangerous situations in the line of duty.

Dubbed the FLAIM trainer, the Australian innovation is just being released on the market after being developed over the past two years at Deakin University in Victoria.

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30
Aug

What’s the Future for Fire Protection in Australia?

The Grenfell fire disaster in London serves as a stark reminder about why properly installed and maintained working fire protection systems are so critical. While the cause of the Grenfell fire is not yet known, the extraordinary speed at which the fire spread is widely believed to have been aided by the building’s recently added

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24
Aug

Where to Take Refuge in Your Home During a Bushfire

When you live in a bushfire-prone area you can’t ignore the danger. Most individuals and families address this necessity by preparing a bushfire survival plan. The best way to survive a bushfire is not to be there when it arrives. For most Australian fire agencies the “leave early” policy has largely replaced the previous “stay and defend or

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14
Jun

Keep Looking When Cooking Campaign in Bid to Prevent Deadly House Fires

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging people to take extra precautions in the kitchen to protect themselves from deadly house fires, which have already claimed five lives this year. FRNSW Community Safety and Research Chief Superintendent Jeremy Fewtrell said kitchen fires accounted for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent

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07
Jun

Plans for Firefighting Force with No Board Nor CEO Stir Up Smouldering Concerns

Victoria’s new urban firefighting force would not have a board  or chief executive, raising concerns that its new commissioner would simply act as a rubber stamp for government. Under the controversial overhaul of firefighting, Fire Rescue Victoria will be set up to replace the MFB and take control of 35 CFA stations in built-up areas

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09
May

Drones helping firefighters find source of Canada’s ‘Costliest Natural Disaster’

The news is filled with stories about people who use drones in ways that endanger lives. It wasn’t long ago that drones kept firefighters from fighting life-threatening blazes in California. But firefighters battling an Alberta firestorm that could prove Canada’s “costliest natural disaster,” according to Business Insider, are looking to drones to help answer the question of how

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21
Jan

Insurance losses from summer catastrophes in Australia pass half a billion dollars

Updated figures from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) show the combined cost of the four catastrophes it has declared since November has passed $515 million. Over the past seven weeks, the ICA has declared catastrophes for South Australia’s Pinery bushfires (November 26), the Sydney tornado (December 17), the Great Ocean Road bushfires in Victoria

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07
Sep

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services: Mactaggarts Woolstore, Newstead, 1990.

Published on Sep 1, 2015 via Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. It was so big, the fire was sucking them in like a monster, Tom Dawson remembers. One of Brisbane’s fiercest fires, ferocious beyond belief, the 1990 Woolstore combustion shot flames though the sky, setting alight neighbouring buildings and leaving nothing but an empty, radiating

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