The 6th International Fire Behaviour and Fuels Conference

The 6th International Fire Behaviour and Fuels Conference

30 April – 2 May 2019, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
Attendance report

With the generous assistance of the City of Onkaparinga’s 2018-19 Community Training and Development Fund, the Coordinator was able to attend and present at this conference.

The practical strengths of this conference were the linkages made between the physical science of fire behaviour using modelling and data, and human behaviour and decision-making in managing and responding to fire events. This is very useful to help train volunteers to conduct themselves safely on a fireground, and reinforces the aims and objectives of SAVEM’s mission, the goals of the Training Team, and helps inform our work ethic of continuous improvement and best practice. This knowledge embeds and consolidates our commitment to being at the cutting edge of fire research and practice, and doing so safely.

Attending the conference developed essential “everyday” skills including leadership, team building, collaboration, shared responsibility, community engagement and communication, problem solving and dynamic risk assessment. It also enabled the Coordinator to connect with delegates from other states, working on projects which can be mutually beneficial.

The Coordinator’s notes from the conference will be shared with the Training and senior teams. When available, the conference proceedings and podcasts will be available in the SAVEM library as a resource, including images of the academic posters exhibited, and material gathered from the Trade exhibition. There was one outstanding presentation about effective communication, which will be very useful to use in our training material.

SAVEM is glad to have the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the wider community, in addition to caring for animals and their owners or guardians. The community benefits by SAVEM’s effective emergency response, and by our processes of, and commitment to, continuous improvement in the service we provide. That improvement is made possible in part through attendance at meetings such as this conference. Because best practice is so important to us, our standards of knowledge and behaviour aim to inspire new volunteers, and bring confidence to the communities we serve in a fire emergency.

The support of the City of Onkaparinga was frequently shared verbally over the three days of the conference, and as well in the conference presentation given by the Coordinator. This is also gratefully acknowledged in the July 2019 SAVEM Newsletter, and on the “Supporters” page on the (new) SAVEM website – to be launched at the end of July 2019.

The conference provided a forum for dissemination of varied topics, including physical fire science, indigenous fire management, biodiversity, issues of gender (women in fire), social science and shared global solutions to problems. This broad spectrum provided an holistic treatment of the bigger picture of fire behaviour in a world of changing environmental triggers and climate change. It was a very worthwhile activity.

SAVEM’s attendance at this event was: