This is my first edition of Asia Pacific Fire and I look forward to many more. I have many years experience in the fire industry, both in the fire service and the fire protection industry having been President of the Fire Protection Association of Australia and Chief Executive Officer of the Country Fire Authority, Victoria. For those that are interested my LinkedIn page will give you more details.
I would like to thank Graham Collins for his years as Editor of Asia Pacific Fire, Graham’s dedication has seen the magazine grow considerably under his leadership. His network and understanding of the industry has made APF a must read for many in the profession and he will be missed. I am hoping he will continue to make his voice heard in the future.
What of the future? As Graham highlighted in his final editorial, the industry is facing many challenges, the most pressing of these being climate change. In the past ten years we have seen a continual increase in days with high temperature, changing weather patterns and weather created disasters; fire, flood and cyclone to name a few. Add to this the increased human habitation of areas prone to fire, flood, earthquakes, cyclone and tsunami. No longer can emergency agencies stay in their designated silos of fire, ambulance and civil defence (SES). It is now an integrated multi discipline approach to disaster. These changes in the disaster environment are changing the profile of traditional fires services morphing them into civil disaster organisations.
Social media and interaction with the public and business are becoming more the norm, agencies are seeing that they are no longer the white knight that comes over the hill to save the day. They must work in conjunction with their communities to plan and prepare in a joint effort, this is the only way communities can truly mitigate the impact of a disaster.
Another string to our bow is the safety industry, those people that make alarms, fire doors and emergency equipment as well as developing and running training programs. In many cases, these are the people that save more lives than firefighters. The simple domestic smoke alarm has saved thousands from death or serious injury. Not many understand the millions of dollars that go into developing new safety systems and then getting them approved by the regulators. The safety industry is the where corners are sometimes cut because short sighted people looking at expenses do not see the benefits of risk reduction until disaster strikes.
These three groups – agencies, the public and the safety industry – working together are what keeps us safe and in the event of a disaster helps to mitigate the damage and return things to normal as quickly as possible.
Asia Pacific Fire intends to inform our readers of what is happening in these three areas specifically concentrating in this region. Unfortunately we are in a high risk geography with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, cyclones and wildfires continually reminding us of why we should be kept informed.
I see my job in future editions is to select best practice and pass this on to you, the reader. This editorial space will be used to challenge the status quo and I look forward to receiving emails with all your views, supportive or dissenting. If you are not already following us on twitter find us at @APFMagazine and have a look at our new web page www.mdmpublishing.com.