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Vic fires, NAFC... What do they do??

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Vic fires, NAFC... What do they do??

Old 22nd Apr 2009, 03:23
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oz
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Vic fires, NAFC... What do they do??

Off the NAFC Website:
NAFC also plays a key role in ensuring the sharing of aerial firefighting resources between fire agencies throughout Australia, and in the development of national protocols and systems for aerial firefighting.”

I’m just wondering what NAFC were doing over this past summer. Now that the smoke has cleared so to speak I am sure quite a few operators are asking questions about resources not being used and the tragedy unfolding before the nation’s eyes.

While Victoria was burning, NAFC resources were sitting around NSW. There were also a lot of other operators sitting around doing nothing. One case that has been brought to my attention was that of a medium helicopter with its own fuel truck being de-tasked from a fire on the NSW -Victorian border and sent back to Sydney the day before black Saturday.

Another case was that of a Victorian operator who has been on the DSE Call when needed list for over 10 years, and has never been called. His helicopter meets the requirements laid down, he could just about see the smoke from his place, but he was told he was not required.

I believe the RFS offered its assets to the DSE however the DSE declined.

The standard line from DSE for not bringing in other helicopters refers to not having the correct radios. We all have VHF air band radios and we can all talk to each other.

I really think NAFC and the Victorians have dropped the ball here and have lost sight of the big picture i.e. saving lives, protecting property and managing fires. Did they do “what ever it takes”, as the politicians were spruiking at the time?

The bottom line is that if one jetranger had been able to pick up one person from the path of the fire, it would have been worth sending 10 aircraft to the scene to do just that.

I would be interested in other people’s views on this subject.
riceburner is offline  
Old 22nd Apr 2009, 23:15
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: UK/OZ
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Police heli drops observer then guides family through fire

Is it true that Bendigo one of the largest regional cities in Victoria was left without cover on black Saturday as the four aircraft based there went to Redesdale?

A fire on the outskirts of Bendigo at lunchtime destroyed 60 homes and killed one person. Sods law.
It apparently took some time for an aircraft to return.

On a positive note here is an account of a police heli dropping off the observer then guiding a family away from the fire.




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Last edited by mickjoebill; 22nd Apr 2009 at 23:44.
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Old 23rd Apr 2009, 00:31
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maitland
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I also understand that there were 3 skycranes sitting at YSBK while Victoria burned on that weekend.
So much for "doing all that is required".
McGowan is offline  
Old 23rd Apr 2009, 03:08
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oz
Posts: 645
There's a great article about it in this month's Australian Aviation magazine. Seems it was too hot and windy to fly aviation assets that day anyway...
FoxtrotAlpha18 is offline  
Old 23rd Apr 2009, 21:14
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,958
I listened to a radio report yesterday where Oz's ambassador (tim fisher) to the Holy see was being interviewed.

on being asked about reactions to the vic fires, tim replied, ;his Holiness was unable to get his head around the fact well after the tragic 1983 fires there were 75 people killed it was now 2009 and 200 people perished'.
says it all doesn't it?
topendtorque is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2009, 13:08
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,958
with further thoughts, perhaps those of you who have constructive criticisms or genuine grievances should take steps to make representation to the commissioner (of the investigation) with your thoughts.

you can be sure that many sections of tree huggers and others, perhaps those referred to above, will be making their pitch.

I've no idea how you go about that, certainly with senate select committees it's just a matter of ringing up and booking yourself in. But in this instance some sectors, I.E. affected residents and fire victims have already been locked out???

you will gain nothing by sitting back in silence.
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