THE Rural Fire Service is urging residents who live near bushland to ensure they and their loved ones know how to contact Triple Zero (000) in a bushfire emergency this holiday season.
RFS Regional Manager Wayne Waltisbuhl said the holidays were the perfect time to teach your family members, especially children, the importance of calling Triple Zero (000) during a bushfire.
“You never know when your kids may need to report an emergency, so it’s important they learn at an early age and understand the type of questions the operator may ask,” Mr Waltisbuhl said.
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“It’s essential to have on hand as much information as possible about a bushfire incident before calling Triple Zero (000) to report an emergency.
“Ensure the exact location of the fire is known, including a street number, name, nearest cross street and any identifiable landmarks nearby.
“When first dialling Triple Zero (000), callers will come through to an emergency Telstra switch and will be asked which service is required.
“The Telstra switch operator will connect the caller to a Fire Communications Officer, who will ask a series of questions to help identify the nature of the emergency and the location.”
Mr Waltisbuhl said firefighters rely on residents to report fire emergencies and to alert the fire service, if possible, to the direction a fire is travelling, the level of threat, assets in the area and nearby water supplies as well as any fire suppression actions undertaken.
“Providing detailed information and being able to answer the Fire Communications Officer’s questions could result in a much better outcome during a bushfire incident,” he said.
“Parents and guardians can practice calling Triple Zero (000) with children by creating mock scenarios, using a toy phone or by playing the online training game http://kids.triplezero.gov.au/.”