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Media Releases

We Work as One

6 December 2023

‘We work as one’ is the mantra of Victoria’s emergency services.  

When an emergency occurs – no matter where across the state – our dedicated and highly skilled personnel come together in a seamless partnership to protect our communities. With Victoria being one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world, and summer upon us, these partnerships are now more important than ever.  

Emergency service agencies undertake work all year round to ensure they are well prepared for summer – the highest risk season for fires.   

Emergency Management Commissioner Rick Nugent commended the vital collaborative work that occurs right across our state.   

“Our emergency service organisations are so dedicated, committed and professional. Since coming into the role, I’m very impressed with how they work together as one for all types of emergencies,” he said. 

“All of the agencies have invested considerable time, effort and training into preparing for this upcoming summer period. They have exercised, trained and worked together to ensure they are well prepared,” he added.  

Country Fire Authority (CFA) Chief Officer Jason Heffernan explained that with over 1,200 brigades and 52,000 volunteers spread across Victoria, CFA is ready to protect Victorian communities and townships this summer. He urged community members to have a plan in place, so they too are well prepared. 


“Download and fill out the bushfire survival plan from the CFA website. Talk to your family about the plan, keep up to date with the VicEmergency app and have those trigger points for if, and when, a fire occurs near you,” he said.  

The AFAC seasonal bushfire outlook for summer indicates a normal fire season in Victoria. Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman explained this means we will likely see more fires than we have in comparison to the past three below-average seasons.

“In preparation, FFMVic has recruited over 550 seasonal firefighters to add to our existing workforce,” he said.  

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is called to many different emergencies, including responding to floods and storms, as well as supporting fire agencies in various roles throughout summer.  

VICSES Acting Deputy Chief Officer Readiness and Response Mark Cattell said, “although summer has a large focus on increased fire risk, the community should always be aware of other emergencies that may occur. Our flood and storm warnings should be taken as seriously as fire warnings”.   

Fire Rescue Commissioner Gavin Freeman explained Fire Rescue Victoria personnel are highly skilled and trained to be ready for anything.     

“In times of crisis and times of large-scale incidents such as large bushfires, storms and building fires, it’s so important that we work together. By doing so, we will get a much better result for Victorians – and that’s what it’s all about.”   

It is important for all Victorians to be prepared for emergencies. Visit or download the VicEmergency app to stay safe this summer.