Upper Ferntree Gully Fire Brigade took out top spot at the Victorian CFA Awards last week, winning the Fire Awareness Award for Innovation for its fire awareness videos.
The brigade won the award which recognises the use of innovation in encouraging participation in processes or applications that increase fire awareness.
This can be via the use of a range of mediums, but for Upper Ferntree Gully, video was the preferred choice to deliver important messaging to their community.
Co-creator of the videos and a volunteer at Upper Ferntree Gully CFA Emily Peel said that the idea was to create small easy video packages that would relate to the surrounding community, rather than bombard the people with all this information.
“I was relatively a new volunteer and had been there for a couple of years, and was going through the process of how emergency managements work, which agency does what – there was a lot to learn.”
Came up with the idea of videos to bring a whole range of information to just one source, and make it relevant to the Upper FTG community.”
The brigade created four videos tailored specifically to residents of the Upper Ferntree Gully area.
One particular video detailed the number of house in the area in comparison to the number of trucks the brigade has, with the likelihood that they would be unable to service many houses in a dire emergency.
“The first video is mainly why residents of Upper FTG should be prepared; we’ve got about 2000 homes and only four trucks, we can’t be there for everyone, so you need to take responsibility for yourself,” she said.
Other videos detailed previous fires in the area, as well as informing residents about the meaning of the different sirens utilised by the brigade – anything over 90 seconds indicating a current emergency in the local area, and people should seek further information immediately.
Emma said it was likely that it was those aspects to being able to make it relevant to the community that helped the brigade secure the innovation awards.
“It was something new and different; a new way of conveying information to people that hadn’t necessarily been tried before; it was presented by me and I was a local of the community. I was a local of Upper FTG talking to the people of Upper Ferntree Gully so they could relate on that personal level, it was a really tailored video for the surrounding suburbs of Upper FTG.”
Upper Ferntree Gully CFA Captain Peter Smith said the videos reached thousands and were shared among other brigades and was proud about what the team and Emily had achieved.
“We were into the thousands, it was boom time, went statewide got a lot of response from a lot of other brigades.
“We’re extremely proud of the team, especially Emily, again you’ve got someone at the top of tree, and the rest don’t survive.
Award-winning CFA vidoes