A packed audience of more than 160 from Warrandyte, Park Orchards and surrounding townships actively participated in a ‘Be Ready Warrandyte’ bushfire scenario based on the February fire – but with significant changes and potential outcome.
Warrandyte Community Association chairman Dick Davies said “the scenario was realistic” using CFA Phoenix Fire modelling.
“Our BRW local emergency service officers envisaged what could have happened last February if a similar situation had escalated”.
The scenario was a serious fire in Park Orchards spreading to North Warrandyte with a wind change.
Steve Pascoe and Joff Manders did a great facilitation job, painting the picture, asking the questions and engaging both the panel of experts and the audience.
Questions such as “what are your actions triggered by this warning” and “what are the dangers facing you now” elicited a lively interaction between the facilitators, audience and panel.
Steve is an emergency management and fire safety consultant familiar to Warrandyte audiences after facilitating a debriefing forum after the February fire. He works closely with the Victorian Emergency management commissioner.
Steve is a Strathewen resident who experienced and survived the impact and aftermath of Black Saturday.
Joff Manders, a well-known Warrandyte identity, is a former MFB commander and advisor to the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Strategic Fire Management Committee.
The panel of experts included local CFA captains Greg Kennedy and Adrian Mullens, local senior sergeant Stewart Henderson, chief park ranger Conrad Annal and Joe Buffone, the director of Risk and Resilience at Emergency Management Victoria.
Cartoonist Jock MacNeish captured some of the proceedings in his inimitable style.
Mr Buffone congratulated the WCA and the Warrandyte community on the success of the evening and the level of community engagement.
At the end, Mr Davies presented Pastor David Molyneux with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of the outstanding assistance in hosting fire meetings from the Warrandyte Community Church to the Warrandyte community since Black Saturday 2009.
More information on local fire planning and Be Ready Warrandyte events is available on the WCA website. More info or inquiries phone the Victorian Bushfire Information Line 1800 240 667.
Be Ready Warrandyte is supported by funds from the WCA, Manningham and Nillumbik councils, the Bendigo Bank, Warrandyte Community Bank and the Warrandyte Community Market committee.
(page 4, Warrandyte Diary, November 2014)