The Coronial Inquest into the tragic fires that occurred in the Esperance region in November 2015 has begun this week.
The AVBFB is very aware that many of the families, volunteers and communities involved may find the days and weeks ahead to be very difficult and perhaps even traumatic.
We are committed to supporting every one of the incredible 26,000 women and men of WA’s volunteer bush fire service and those who support them and as such, believe open, independent reviews of major fires like this are a valuable opportunity to learn and improve – even though they are often very difficult and challenging for everyone involved.
The AVBFB recalls a presentation the Coroner gave at a volunteer conference several years ago, assuring us that these types of inquiries are not about pointing fingers at volunteers who are just trying to do their best in difficult circumstances and we therefore have faith that the Coroner and State Solicitors will take maximum care to be sensitive during the Inquest.
If the inquiry generates broader discussion about the structure and operations of WA’s emergency services, the AVBFB will do its utmost to make sure that public comments from all are respectful and focused solely on making worthwhile changes that deliver genuine improvements in safety and efficiency for our incredible 26,000 members.
Finally, we just want everyone in the Great Southern and especially Scaddan to know that we understand this is another difficult period for you and will always do our very best to support not just our bush fire volunteers, but importantly, the families and communities they so bravely protect 24/7.