The Balmoral Fire Connect bring together leaders from community by working in partnership with Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre and CFA to track the flow of information and the changed practice in the community.

  • Project dates: 2016

Balmoral Fire connect will bring together leaders from  the Balmoral Community by working in partnership with Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre (BBNC) and CFA to track the flow of information and the changed practice in the community from targeted Fire Ready Victoria Bushfire Information sessions. Led by Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership (SGGPCP) and research partner RMIT University, social network analysis methodology will map the flow of information in the community while further data analysis will investigate the contributing factors and barriers to changed practice.

SGGPCP has identified community resilience through climate change adaptation in strategic priorities and have facilitated a number of projects to build capacity and extend our role as a leadership platform to our 20 partner agencies. During the first stage of the Enhancing Networks for Residence Project (funded through the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience) and previous Rural People; Resilient Futures Project it was highlighted that community and health agencies are well placed to work with their communities to reduce vulnerability to extreme climatic events such as bushfire. Additionally, given that most staff in these centres are also a part of their local community, they are trusted conduits of safety messages.

Rationale:

CFA Fire Ready Victoria and Community Fireguard programs are essential tools for bushfire preparedness in Victoria. Bushfire preparedness can be very complex and these programs are designed to assist the community to develop comprehensive plans aimed to save life and property. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons these programs not always accessed by the most vulnerable in our community who are often termed “hard to reach”.

The process:

Balmoral Fire Connect will provide a “community hub” through BBNC to facilitate a flow of fire safety preparedness information into the community. SGGPCP worked previously with BBNC (and other partners) in the Pass the Parcel Project whereby a parcel of energy efficiency information was disseminated throughout he community to increase connection and knowledge around energy efficiency. The partnership between SGGPCP and Glenelg Shire HACC staff in the Glenelg SAVES Project was built upon the trusted relationships of staff and vulnerable community members.

Balmoral Fire Connect will utilise process and learnings from each these projects in the project design. In brief the process will be formed around the following steps:

1. Fire Ready Victoria session with be delivered to the staff, executive management committee and user groups (for example the Planned Activity Group and Parent group) at BBNC.

2. Volunteers from each session will be provided with up to 10 Balmoral Fire Connect Packs. Packs with then be disseminated throughout the community using already existing relationships with a focus on ensuring packs get to those who are more vulnerable. This would be completed in one of 2 ways:

a)One person disseminated all their packs to 10 different people while having a conversation with all pack recipients.

b)One person takes all the packs to another person and has a conversation about fire safety, the recipient takes one pack and passes onto another etc… as a result there is no control over the reach

3. The transfer of the fire safety packs will be recorded by BBNC through telephone contact.

4. All participants will be invited to additional FRV or CFG sessions to promote further earning and engagement.

5. Data Collection, Analysis and Evaluation – see Evaluation section of this application)

Balmoral Fire Connect aims for the following outcomes:

  • Increased understanding of fire safety messages for leaders in the community by facilitating the project through BBNC staff and stakeholders of BBNC
  • FRV messages flowing to members of the community who may not attend traditional FRV meetings and who may be particularly vulnerable due to age, disability, family status and/or isolation
  • Connect community members with others by passing a “pack” of information and facilitating conversations throughout the community
  • Promote readiness for CFA Fire Safety sessions such as FRV or CFG by increasing the conversation in the community

Facilitating shared responsibility by involving BBNC community leaders and community members in fire safety awareness

Key People

Lead researcher

Associate Professor Hartmut Fünfgeld

Associate Professor Hartmut Fünfgeld

Senior Lecturer, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies

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Key researchers

    • Maedeh Aboutalebi Karkavandi
    • Jo Brown

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