2013 Victoria Fire Fighters Death Report: ‘System Failed’

Flickr/ Edward Vielmetti

The failure of emergency management systems led to the death of two fire fighters in Victoria in 2013, as found by a coroner.

According to The Age, the operations officer did not have the required information to save the fire fighters from danger.  The fire fighters Steve Kadar (34) and Katie Peters (19) succumbed to an accident when they were on duty to battle a bushfire in a remote alpine region. The statement also confirms that the inquest had found that a huge alpine tree fell on their truck resulting into the accident.

In the same report, Australian Workers Union Secretary Ben Davies commented that whenever workers feel any kind of danger they should leave the place immediately.

As reported by ABC, coroner John Olle observed that no one in particular was responsible for the incident. However, the investigations showed that if the operation manager had the information of approaching storm cell, the fire fighters could have been saved. He also added that even if the information was collated, the decision to leave the place might not have been taken any earlier. In his report, Olle also emphasized the fact of system failure and improvement in weather reporting strategies.

Yahoo7 confirms 10 recommendations made by Mr. Olle. One of the important suggestions is designing fire truck that can survive falling trees. To avoid sending fire fighters to alpine ash forest until it is obligatory is another noteworthy recommendation he made.

The Daily Mail states the prediction of the worst bush-fire of the year, as a result of heat waves which shows that the recommendations by John Olle, should be taken seriously to avoid more casualties.

A country which witnesses huge bush-fires every year should address the issue of system failure seriously and also needs to have very efficient emergency management system. The  failure to which will lead to more and more Accidents in the future.

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