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On behalf of CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson and VICSES Chief Executive Officer Stephen Griffin, welcome to the 2015 CFA-SES Community Engagement and Hazard Awareness State Forum.

Euan Ferguson AFSM, CFA Chief Officer

On behalf of CFA, welcome to the 2015 CFA-SES Community Engagement and Hazard Awareness State Forum. This is the fifth annual State Forum for CFA and it’s great to be expanding further in 2015 and teaming up with VICSES.

Whether we are engaging our communities on fire, flood or storm there are many similarities. Community connections are important and I’m looking forward to exploring that more this weekend.

Your participation this weekend and the work you do in your local community is highly valued. It is vital to reducing the incidence and impact of fires as well as building community resilience.

As a local leader, your community look to you as a highly respected source of information. This forum encourages you, along with other like-minded emergency services members from across Victoria, to network, share ideas and build on your community engagement knowledge.

Thank you for your leadership, enthusiasm and determination. Keep up the great work.

Stephen Griffin – VICSES Chief Executive Officer

On behalf of VICSES, welcome to the CFASE Community Engagement and Hazard Awareness State Forum. This is the fifth year the state forum has run – but the first where CFA and VICSES have come together.

Community education is an essential tool for both of our agencies to use to reach out to Victorian communities to promote awareness and preparation for all of the hazards we respond to.

The next two days are an excellent opportunity for you to meet with your colleagues across agencies and share knowledge and ideas so that we can all better serve the Victorian community for future emergencies.

With CFA and VICSES engaging the same communities to provide education and increase understanding of relevant hazards, it makes sense for us to have a joint approach to maximise our impact.

I am excited at the opportunity to work with CFA on this initiative, and I believe that by working together we’ll be able create better and more engaging Community Education programs that leverage the strength of both agencies.

I hope you share the same aspirations as I do for this event and look forward to this partnership continuing on.

Please enjoy the next two days, and thank you all for your continued hard work, dedication, leadership and passion for our two agencies and what you do to help keep the Victorian community safe.