Queensland Fire And Emergency Services Well Prepared For Cyclone Season

Queensland Fire And Emergency Services Well Prepared For Cyclone Season

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford

Queensland Well Prepared For Storm And Cyclone Season

Victor P Taffa

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) have built on its response to Tropical Cyclone Debbie which earned praise from the United Nations to prepare for this cyclone season, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said today.

Minister Crawford said QFES is continuing to work to increase community resilience and safety through the “many great relationships with partner agencies and stakeholders forged throughout Queensland’s many disasters”.

“Last year’s severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie was a rigorous test of the preparation of QFES, and disaster management in general.” Minister Crawford said.

“It was a test QFES passed with flying colours, and continues to build on this storm and cyclone season, which runs for a few months yet.”

“10 Queensland Tropical Cyclone Consultative Committee events have been completed across the State, informing local, district and other stakeholders on preparations and activities.”

“These committee meetings are crucial to start off the season on the right foot, proactively getting the ball rolling and allowing for productive discussion between agencies.”

“QFES has conducted exercises across regions for operational personnel, including volunteers.”

“State Disaster Coordination Centre (SDCC) is ready for activation, with the SDCC workforce to be supported by more than 35 entities to ensure agencies and stakeholders are informed in a timely manner.”

“QFES has also introduced 11 inflatable motorised swiftwater rescue craft, with another 6 expected at the end of next month. These craft will improve the ability of swiftwater floodwater rescue crews to access casualties, and increase their mobility in water.”

Inspector-General of Emergency Management (IGEM) review of the effectiveness of Queensland’s disaster management arrangements following Tropical Cyclone Debbie, showed QFES responded well.

Queensland’s response during Tropical Cyclone Debbie also earned praise from Robert Glasser, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, who heads the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

“Response to Cyclone Debbie truly epitomises the type of action we would like to see everywhere else. It was very impressive to see how the BOM disseminated warnings which were quickly acted on by the emergency services.” Mr. Glasser said.

“UN praise is incredibly humbling.” QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.

“Operational response during TC Debbie was incredible and a great effort by all, but there is always ways to improve and expand on lessons learned.”

“QFES is fully prepared to respond in times of disaster and are currently undertaking readiness activities with local stakeholders to improve our response ensuring disaster district management plans are up-to-date.” Commissioner Carroll said.

“As part of our preparation for this season, QFES has conducted preparedness exercises across all regions for operational personnel.”

“Rural Fire Service (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers completed awareness training for the State Operations Centre to enable them to assist with large-scale incidents and disasters.” Commissioner Carroll said.

Abbreviations

BOM               Bureau Of Meteorology