Author Topic: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens  (Read 3677 times)

Offline Zippy

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Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« on: May 18, 2009, 10:12:09 AM »
This idea is good.   http://www.royalcommission.vic.gov.au/SubmissionDocuments/SUBM-002-001-0061
 
suggestion
Install early warning sirens with different pitches signifying different threat away, A continuous pitch would mean get into your shelters immediately.

comments
Like an air raid siren that can be heard from miles away. Located away from vandals and operated electronically from emergency centre.

benefits
Everyone knows the system/updated on shelter radio.

actions/considerations
Consultation/design/cost/action plan for vulnerable and disabled persons.


----------------------

For this to work, in say the CFS,  for the public to get used to the system of use.  Brigades would have to cease using the siren for "respond to station" or "more crew required"...Alerts would be used as the backup system if paging went down, as long as your entire brigade is on the conference call.   

Wail x2 - Bushfire Ignition in the District.
Wail x6 - Bushfire in Vicinity of Community.
Continuous - Imminent Threat.

Offline Robert-Robert34

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Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 10:17:43 AM »
Fire sirens always have been used here in Region 5 by brigades who still have them as they give the community notification that an emergency is occuring somewhere... during black saturday the power did fail hence why the sirens couldnt be sounded however simple backup battery attached to the station siren could have been useful

Quote
Alerts would be used as the backup system if paging went down

Bearing in mind Zippy not every brigade in the state has Alerts although bringing back the good ol fire phone system wouldnt be such a bad idea 

Kalangadoo Brigade

Offline Zippy

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Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 10:25:31 AM »
not wanting to get this topic consistently off topic, to put forward my idea of brigades all having a teleconferencing function...

Group Duty officer or Brigade Duty Officer would be contacted by Adelaide Fire.  the GDO or BDO would then initiate a conference call with the rest of brigade, and the ruling would be that no one would talk until the initiator says for a specific person to talk.

This system would be a Backup, for only when paging goes down.


Sirens need to be kept to only rural incidents, otherwise the public will simply ignore it. Having it setup to being activated by a Regional Headquarters, perhaps a Regional comm's volunteer can monitor the risk to the community and give out threat levels by activating sirens on a as needs basis.  Sitrep's and information from 000 calls would determine this.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 10:29:23 AM by Zippy »

Offline CFS_Firey

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 12:10:53 PM »
You really think region will know when a certain township is under threat?  and even if they did know, how would they set the siren off "electronically"? Using the GRN network, which would probably be crippled anyway?

..and why do people need a siren to tell them to "get into their shelters"?  Surely the smoke, noise and flame would tip them off when the time is right?

Offline Zippy

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009, 01:12:11 PM »
yeah pretty much, thats the realistic view of the situation.

Too right about Region (CFA) not knowing where the fire is, which seems to be the biggest point ive heard on TV related to the fire services management of it.

CFS's best system is a Air Observer going through State, and then State doing what ever with the information.  what is CFA's system?


...all goes back to the Leave Early or Prepare to Defend thingy...
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 01:18:56 PM by Zippy »

Offline SA Firey

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2009, 01:33:20 PM »
Fire sirens always have been used here in Region 5 by brigades who still have them as they give the community notification that an emergency is occuring somewhere... during black saturday the power did fail hence why the sirens couldnt be sounded however simple backup battery attached to the station siren could have been useful

Quote
Alerts would be used as the backup system if paging went down

Bearing in mind Zippy not every brigade in the state has Alerts although bringing back the good ol fire phone system wouldnt be such a bad idea 



Only one problem Rob ,most town sirens are on 3 phase, so battery backup is not an option. On Ash Wednesday 1980 & 1983 power was out soon after it got going, so its back to the good old battery operated radio on ABC as your best choice for a warning in lieu of the siren :-P
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Darren

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2009, 03:45:15 PM »
Can't people fend for themselves, people see this happen time and time again, but when it happens to them its everyone else's fault. CFS seem to have a good system, look how many info and warning messages went out this fire season, and we didn't have any fires.

rescue5271

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 09:15:55 PM »
I think the community has become to relaxed on looking aftre its self,you can have as many systems as you like but at the end of the day it all gets down to the conditions on that day and with FDI of up to 360 what chance have they got.... It has not been said yet but the power was out in most of the area's well before the firefront hit and so there goes the use of the local fire siren....


Offline bittenyakka

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2009, 10:04:12 PM »
I am starting to think along the lines of we either need to be completely responsible for the community fore example with forced evacuations. Or be the opposite and do nothing this half and half situation seems to cause confusion.

Although at this point i support stay or go.

Offline 2468

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2009, 10:38:14 PM »
From a non fire fighters point of view... People tend to thing along the lines that a the SACFS will save their home or that sprinkler system will prepare them... It's a filtered arrogant thinking line. The Belair SACFS is starting to use their siren after intense pressure from local residents and MP's.

I have to agree with bittenyakka 100%, about the wishy, washiness that no clear policy. Yes its hard to define a clear line as a stay and go policy is the current policy... but.

Also Bill is right on with his comment about the arrogance of the populous. But common sense has to prevail on such days where the risk of fire is so high. If the polulation don't have the common sense to prepare their property and realise that on such days their is a risk of fire... then well SACFS, CFA, RFS etc shouldn't be held responsible or blamed for deaths.

Not wanting to be derogatory or insulting, but... the majority of rural fire fighting services are voluntary, their members are voluntary and the majority of officers have risen from the voluntary ranks. Thus i do not see as a member of the fire industry and a citizen that if their are deaths that the SACFS should be held responsible. If people build homes in the middle of the scrub, they're asking for some serious trouble.

Phone systems don't particulary work. I live in Unley and i have shite coverage and my girlfriend lives in strathalbyn and she has virtually no coverage, unless a phone system is sat to sat phone... there will always be holes big enough to drive a pumper through. Sirens will only work if they are embraced by the locals. Main problem with Belair siren is that the majority of the peole living there will complain about the siren...


Offline Zippy

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2009, 09:21:08 AM »
Quote
Sirens will only work if they are embraced by the locals. Main problem with Belair siren is that the majority of the peole living there will complain about the siren...


Yep.  Excess use = Ignore & complain.   Minimal Urgent Beyond Belief use = Community Praise for alerting the town. I might even shock some sense into peoples brains.

Offline CFS_Firey

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2009, 09:58:19 AM »
it all gets down to the conditions on that day and with FDI of up to 360 what chance have they got....

Try telling that to all the people who were prepared and successfully defended their properties in Vic, but are completely ignored by the media in favour of "hero's" who escaped at the last minute...

If people aren't bushfire ready, they don't have much chance no matter what the fire danger is.

Offline Darius

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2009, 11:28:37 AM »
Try telling that to all the people who were prepared and successfully defended their properties in Vic, but are completely ignored by the media in favour of "hero's" who escaped at the last minute...

there was a great submission on day 2 or 3 of the transcripts (forget where now) by a bloke who sounded very well prepared and talked the commissioner through his story in detail. His house and family did what you are supposed to, retreat into house when the fire hit, etc, his family and house survived.

Offline Pipster

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2009, 02:27:46 PM »
Was that the one where an older gentleman, who had been a member of both SES and a Volunteer Fire service (I'm not sure which one) at various times of his life, got stuck into other residents on their lack of understanding, their lack of preparedness etc.

He also made some interesting comments regarding the various reports of "We had no warning of the fire"....he came out stating how much warning did people want...in that for the previous week, and particularly in the two days before the fire the statements from Fire Service hierarchy, and Government was that the worst fire danger day Victoria had seen was coming up.....and then people claimed they didn't have any warning.....

Was quite a contrast to what has been reported in the media in the previous week(s) in the blame everyone else (especially the emergency services), and take no responsibility for your own property type reports...

Pip
There are three types of people in the world.  Those that watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

Offline Darius

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2009, 11:22:51 AM »
yes, found it, Wed 13th transcripts:
http://www.royalcommission.vic.gov.au/getdoc/523bc7a8-c47f-4772-865f-eaa888935a67/03-13MAY09
Starts on page 332 from 2pm, Peter Newman is his name.

But it's interesting he's far from the only one saying they did not need more warnings.  The CFA CO and others had been in the media saying it was going to be the worst day on record etc. 

In the transcripts on the 12th, starting page 189 a woman in her submission I read said it was obviously going to be bad just going by the weather and environment around her.  She talked about the trees raining leaves day and night.  Her plan was to take her kids and leave the area well beforehand, which she did.


Offline Zippy

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2009, 12:06:56 PM »
He is right.

Its not the government's job to make a human's decision, except for forced evacuations.   

There's not much else warning you can give except what was already given. 

Add CFA's warning + Smell of smoke or even word of Fire = LEAVE NOW in the opposite direction OR stay and defend.

Individuals need to take care of themselves...instead of being lazy and relying on other people.

simple things like watching the 6pm news or reading a news paper at the start of a day....is what everyone should be doing in this society to receive "warning".
« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 12:08:44 PM by Zippy »

Offline JC

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2009, 04:47:39 PM »
I'm really starting to get f'd off with the people who live in these bushfire prone areas (not all cause some do the right thing), but these lazy arse people who are well aware of the environment they live in. They knew when they moved in that there would have been a risk associated with having a house surrounded by bush / scrubland.
Instead of blaming the fire service's for not putting the fire out or not giving them enough warning or telling them whats happening, they should have put plans in place to reduce / stop the risk no matter the size or better still not put themself in that position in the first place by living there.

They took the risk by living there, they deal with the consequence's.

*End of Rant
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Offline Pipster

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2009, 05:13:13 PM »
Maybe the Govt should introduce new legislation - anyone who moves into a designated bushfire area must complete 12 months as an active member local rural fire service....thereby giving them an appreciation of bushfire behaviour, understanding of the limitations on what the fire services can do, and an understanding of how to protect their own property....?
There are three types of people in the world.  Those that watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

Offline bittenyakka

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2009, 07:26:43 PM »
I like the outcome that would hopefully be achieved there Pip. But I do not want people in the brigade for the soul purpose of ticking a  box to stay in their new house.

Offline Alan J

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2009, 06:17:25 AM »
Conscription into the CFS may be the only way to avoid a repeat.
I'd suggest specifying a minimum of successful completion of BFF1, 26 training
attendances, and 1/3 of the average annual turn-outs for their local brigade to
be completed within 18 months of moving in.  Failure to complete this results
in enforced eviction. Applies to owners & tenants in designated UI & rural
areas.  :evil:  and   :-D
but mostly  :evil: 

Nice as it would be to imagine warning people to flee as an effective action,
I don't think it will work -reliably- in the real world for catastrophic events
like this. The bigger & faster the fire, the more incredible the distances
ahead that need warning.  Working through the numbers:

Dead Man Zone for fire-fighters who are (supposedly) prepared & aware & "doing"
fire already is 5 minutes. At FFDI = 80 & slope = 20degrees, that's a whole KM.

Even prepared householders need more like 20 minutes to get going or get defending.
Plus travel time (assuming they can actually go anywhere).
So that's more like 4 or 5 km of warning. In the early stages of a fire when
fire manager/s only have a vague idea of where it is.

Now translate that into the Adelaide Hills, which is a pretty close semblance to
the Kinglake/Marysville area, except that their trees are taller, and fewer people live there.

20 minutes warning for people at Upper Sturt, Belair, Stirling is while a fire
is at Mt Lofty.

Toss in the complication that our Hills roads simply cannot cope with the sort
of traffic volumes of 150,000 people in these areas hitting then all at once...
instant gridlock, and a death toll which would make the Vic fires look like a
minor event.

If CFS is going to accept responsibility (& culpability if it fails) for being
the trigger for people to execute their plans in time for them to be effective,
then we will need to get the leavers leaving early morning of any day that
might have a serious fire...

Oh wait... that's the existing policy isn't it.

Seems to me that we are going to have to communicate the realities of bushfire
to the public a whole lot better. 

So who else is going to the VOICE pilot session ?

cheers
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 12:34:57 AM by Alan J »
Alan J.
Cherry Gdns CFS

Data isn't information.  Information isn't knowledge. 
Knowledge isn't wisdom.

Offline CFS_Firey

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2009, 11:32:53 AM »
Couldn't have said it better Alan.
Unfortunately, it's not just the public that doesn't understand the Stay or Go Early policy either - there are plenty of CFS members out there that have it wrong too.


What's this VOICE session you speak of?

Offline Alan J

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2009, 12:29:38 AM »
VOlunteers In Community Education

Natasha Huber is running a pilot training/workshop for volunteers doing
community education. Expressions of interest were called a couple of months
ago. Idea at this stage is mainly to ensure we are all singing out of the same
hymn book, plus swap ideas around.

My hope is that the programme will expand, because I think we can save
more lives & property by getting people more aware of their surroundings than
we can on our appliances. )  I'm also aware that a great many CFS vollies
either don't want to do CommEd, or feel it is a paid staff function.

cheers

Alan J.
Cherry Gdns CFS

Data isn't information.  Information isn't knowledge. 
Knowledge isn't wisdom.

Offline bajdas

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2009, 12:17:29 PM »
I would have thought if they are going to mount 'air-raid equivalent sirens', then this would be a new system which would be seperate from the existing brigade sirens.

This would ensure the best positioning and a different siren tone, rather than relying on existing facilities that might not have the best location for sound penetration.

If this ever did occur, I would hope they increase the number of call-takers on 000 or CFS HotLine or 132500. The telephones will be swamped by people calling in for advice on 'what is happening', 'which way do I go', 'can someone help me', 'noise complaint', 'is this a test', etc, etc.

Yes it will give a warning, but no information on direction to evacuate & how fast.
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Offline Robert-Robert34

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2009, 02:30:54 PM »
The Kalangadoo brigade's station siren is used for alerting the community during day time hours about an emergency underway in the local area but to also inform brigade members who may have missed the initial pager call that more crew is required especially if there isnt a driver

As for alerting the town about an approaching fire it can be used for this purpose as well especially in the event of a mains supply failure due to the siren having a backup battery affixed to it
Kalangadoo Brigade

Offline Chinny

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Re: Vic Bushfire Inquiry - Sirens
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2009, 02:52:40 AM »
Yeah Alan I was picked to go on the VOICE program, should be a good weekend :-D