Our wonderful colleagues at the Parks and Wildlife Service (PAWS) contribute so very much to Western Australia’s fire and emergency services, both operationally with the incredible contribution they make to the science of doing what we do and how we can do it more safely and effectively.

That is one of the two big reasons the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) supports the need for PAWS to continue to play a significant role in the management of rural bushfire.

The second and perhaps more important reason – which we hope government “bean counters” hear loud and clear – is that it is a very bad idea to put all your eggs in one basket…especially in relation to emergency services.

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We know that the OBRM review of the recent Albany fires will focus on the pre conditions of the fires. If the outcome is a recommendation for more resources, some of the propellerheads in the government’s money department are likely to recommend an “efficiency dividend” by moving DPaW’s fire capability across to DFES and reducing the admin costs they will claim are duplicated.

For the record, the AVBFB believes the Bushfire Centre of Excellence is one of this government’s good ideas, but we can also foresee that given the state’s parlous financial situation, it might be tempting for some to suggest “streamlining” at the dire cost of diversity.

Anyhow, thanks to Michael Pasotti from our friends at Parks and Wildlife for sharing your expertise with your unpaid colleagues, and a huge thanks to the volunteers from the 6 Brigades mentioned for continually giving up your time to learn how you can better protect our community from the neverending threat of bushfire.

And a quick special thank you to the team at the Stoneville VBFB for taking the time to manage your Facebook page and share valuable insights into the huge effort the invaluable women and men put into their [unpaid] “job” or watching our backs.

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