Minister announces Safer Communities winners

Published: 9th September 2010

Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan today announced the New South Wales winners of the 2010 Safer Communities Awards.

Mr Whan said the Australian Safer Communities Awards recognised and encouraged outstanding practice and innovation by organisations involved in emergency management and protecting the community.

“Now in their 11th year, the Awards showcase our country’s expertise and experience in preventing, planning for and responding to natural disasters and other emergencies,” Mr Whan said.

“The 2010 NSW winners are the Triple Zero Kids’ Challenge online game and the Think Before You TREK safety campaign.

“The Triple Zero Kids’ Challenge was developed by 38 Federal and State government agencies, commercial partners and emergency services around Australia, led by the NSW Fire Brigades, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Police Force and Ambulance Service of NSW.

“The Think Before You TREK project is an initiative of the NSW Police Force and the National Parks and Wildlife Service that aims to promote safety in our spectacular environment by encouraging people to be properly prepared and equipped before venturing into the bush.

“These projects now become the NSW finalists in the national competition, with the winners to be announced later this year.”

Mr Whan said two other projects also had been commended: the Rural Fire Service for its AIDER (Assist Infirm, Disabled and Elderly Residents) bush fire mitigation program and Surf Life Saving Australia’s RIP Currents project.

“All these organisations are to be congratulated for their work to help develop and maintain a safe and sustainable community and to support emergency management in NSW,” he said.

The Safer Communities Awards are organised by the Commonwealth’s Emergency Management Australia in conjunction with the States.

The 2010 NSW Safer Communities Awards winners are:

  • Triple Zero Kids’ Challenge – NSW Fire Brigades, on behalf of the Triple Zero Awareness Work Group. This is an interactive online safety game for primary school children. The game contains scenarios involving Police, Fire and Ambulance, teaching children practical steps to deal with emergencies, how to seek help and legitimate uses of the Triple Zero service. To help reach at-risk communities, the Challenge is translated into six other languages: Dinka, Hindi, Thai, Arabic, Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese.
  • Think Before You TREK bush safety campaign - NSW Police and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. This campaign aims to promote and encourage safe outdoor adventure by providing basic bush safety advice, making technology such as Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) accessible and encouraging people to register before heading into the bush. Beacons to underpin the scheme were donated by benefactor John Bennett. The Police and NPWS have been joined by Blue Mountains and Oberon city councils to implement the scheme, which will be extended to other areas.

Highly commended:

  • AIDER program - NSW Rural Fire Service. The Assistance for Infirm, Disabled and Elderly Residents program was introduced in July 2009 to help aged, disabled and other vulnerable residents to reduce the bush fire risk on their property. RFS works crews carry out basic property preparation such as clearing gutters, thinning vegetation, removing overhanging branches and clearing other flammable debris from around the yard.

  • RIP Currents Project – Surf Life Saving Australia. This campaign is designed to raise public awareness of rips and survival techniques, built around the key safety message: “To escape a rip, swim parallel to the beach”.