Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) Mid West Regional Trainer Brad Jew, has joined a team of Victorian firefighters and emergency service experts flying out to British Columbia to help combat a challenging fire season in Western Canada.
Brad was selected to perform the role of Level 3 logistics officer for a deployment that could last as long as 5 weeks.
“It’s a long time to be spending away from my family” he says “but it’s a great honour to be selected and a real highlight of my career”.
Regional Manager Stephen Warren says he is glad Brad’s skills and expertise will be utilised on an international stage during a challenging summer fires campaign in Canada.
“It’s great to see SES members being selected for these roles; we all wish Bradley a safe journey and hope he is able to provide some relief for the Canadian teams”.
In total, 80 Australians have answered the call for assistance from Canada with more than 50 members from the Victorian agencies Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water, CFA, MFB and SES.
They will join more than 1,600 provincial staff, more than 800 British Columbia contractors and more than 350 out-of-province personnel already actively engaged in fire suppression in British Columbia.
British Columbia has fostered a mutually beneficial wildfire management relationship with Australia for over 15 years and has had a resource-sharing agreement in place with the State of Victoria for over a decade. This agreement allows for the exchange of personnel, knowledge, skills, equipment, technology and mutual support in the event of an emergency. The cost of bringing in the Australians will be covered by B.C.