The Access and Inclusion Award recognises a fire project that supports or promotes the fire safety needs of vulnerable, disadvantaged, at-risk or isolated groups.
Examples projects include but are not restricted to:
- specialist education materials (videos, booklets, educational games, etc.) for at risk groups
- support services
- presentations and events
Projects applying to this category should aim to improve fire safety and awareness for groups such as people with disabilities, older people, indigenous, low socio-economic, linguistically and culturally diverse, people who are homeless or tourists.
Fire service involvement can be in a supporting role, where appropriate, but projects must be community-led or initiated.
The Award will be judged in two streams:
- Community – this stream includes not-for-profit organisations, individuals, community groups, volunteer groups, schools or tertiary institutions.
- Industry – this stream includes commercial enterprise, business, local council or government departments.
2015 Access and Inclusion Award winners
Spark of Brilliance (Community Stream)
The project must be initiated and led by individuals, groups or organisations external to Victoria’s three fire service agencies (MFB, CFA and DELWP), but can involve one or more fire agencies in a supporting role – for example providing expert advice or acting as a subject matter expert.
Where appropriate, projects must meet the standards and procedures of the Victorian fire agencies.
Projects that have been previously shortlisted as a Fire Awareness Award finalist cannot be resubmitted without further significant development.
All projects entered must have been in place within 2 years of the opening date for entry in the 2016 Awards (30 June 2014 and 30 June 2016), and implemented in Victoria.
CFA, DELWP, MFB, EMV and Parks Victoria employees and members are ineligible to enter this award.
Fire service agencies should apply to one of the Fire Services Awards: Local-led Prevention and Preparedness, Partnership, or Project of State Significance Awards.
Examples of projects
2015 Access and Inclusion Award finalists
Ferntree Gully Library Story Times – led by Ferntree Gully Library
Together, the Ferntree Gully Library and CFA decided to incorporate the fire safety education into the library story time which attracted local children and their guardians (parents and grandparents). At the start of each session a local CFA member talked to the children and their guardians about home and bushfire safety. After which the librarians would read books and sing songs with the participants. At the conclusion of the session, participants had the opportunity to go outside and see some of the local CFA trucks and have firefighters demonstrate how they use their hoses. Since it started this program has reached more than 700 children and adults.
Library School Holiday Program – led by Corangamite Regional Library
The Library School Holiday Program is presented in 11 out of 12 libraries of the Corangamite Regional Library Corporation. Local library staff worked together with local CFA volunteers to organise a story time and activity session that incorporates fire safety lessons for the participants (pre-schoolers, and 5 – 7 year old primary school aged children) and their guardians. In most cases the sessions are incorporated into a normal story time session to ensure maximum attendance numbers. The lessons taught include:
- how to test smoke alarm
- when to change batteries in smoke alarms
- taking home smoke alarm testers for families, grandparents and neighbours
- how to call the fire brigade
- bush fire safety including yard clean up
Smoke Alarm battery changeover program – led by Lions Club of Port Fairy – Belfast
After discussions with their local CFA, the Lions Club of Port Fairy – Belfast became aware there were concerns about the lack of knowledge and awareness of smoke alarm requirements within their local elderly and disabled resident’s community.
The Lions Club of Port Fairy – Belfast decided they would work with local health care and senior citizen providers to ensure that their elderly and disabled residents had working smoke alarms. As a result in 2015 the group replaced 147 smoke alarm batteries in 102 locations. Several faulty alarms were replaced and several were relocated into correct positions. They also left a fridge magnet at each residence with the local Lions Assist contact number to be called in the event of problems with smoke alarms.
2014 Bushfire Emergency Accessible Communications – Victorian Deaf Society