The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Victoria Police – in collaboration with the community and the emergency management sector – reflect on events of the 2019-20 fire season to review and enhance evacuation plans and processes with consideration of:
a) high risk areas (including remote locations)
b) early evacuation triggers
c) the potential for isolated communities
d) the presence of tourists and non-residents
e) individual decisions to not evacuate
f) the inability to evacuate
g) consequence management and compounding events such as the loss of essential services or health impacts.
Victoria Police, in conjunction with sector partners, will develop and deliver training and exercising to key incident management and decision-making personnel on improved evacuation doctrine and processes.
VicPol’s planned exercising activities are covered in the progress summary for Action 11.8.
With respect to training, its SERCD is conducting evacuation and traffic management training sessions around the state. This training covers the key evacuation and traffic management manager role and has trained more than 400 members at the time of this report. VicPol advised that the training covers the evacuation process using current JSOPs, guidelines, and internal forms that reflect learnings from Exercise Praesidio (a simulated bushfire evacuation conducted in 2019).
Some training sessions have been rescheduled due to extreme weather activity and COVID-19 pandemic impacts. VicPol expects to conduct further training once COVID-19 pandemic-related resource commitments are eased.
Dependent on COVID-19 restrictions, VicPol plans to hold a state forum in October/November 2021 to train around 40 of its Municipal Emergency Response Coordinators. VicPol also advised that planning for a training film has commenced (with DELWP Incident Controller involvement) which will cover lessons learned from 2019–20 fires and will be used as a training tool for incident managers and decision-making personnel at sub-officer level and above.