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Emergency Management focus on thriving in a changed landscape

September 24, 2018 Conferences No Comments Email Email

Australasia’s leading emergency management conference and exhibition, AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ held in Perth, 5-8 September 2018, attracted over 2,800 attendees from the fire, emergency, rescue, first responder, public safety, defence, industrial, hazardous, offshore and mining safety sectors.

Over four days, emergency service personnel, researchers, policy makers and volunteers from all over Australia, discussed the latest technology and research fuelling insights into how to work best with the changing natural, built and political environments. The theme, ‘Changing lives in a changing world’ explored how improvements can be made to the emergency management and disaster resilience sector, and how to survive and thrive in an ever-changing, complex environment.

Stuart Ellis AM, CEO, Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) said the sector’s ability to adapt to a changing physical and political landscape needs to be a defining characteristic.

“This year, the event focused on how to address the urban, political and environmental changes. The conference’s high calibre speakers such as former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Dr Dana Born, Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, shared their unique experiences tackling the challenges of change – it was both insightful and inspiring,” said Mr Ellis.

Occupying over 9000sqm, the AFAC18 Exhibition showcased 170 manufacturers, suppliers and distributors showcasing a diverse range of products, services and solutions. Live demonstrations took place throughout the conference, revealing the latest technologies, including:

  • CITIC and ENGYTECH designed, the RXR Mobile Reconnaissance & Firefighting Vehicle, capable of responding when situations are too dangerous for emergency responders. The demonstration showed the robot’s basic movements, camera movements, applied alarms and emergency response features.
  • The Husqvarna DXR140 Demolition Robot, a versatile demolition robot, can be combined with a variety of tools such as hammers, crushers and steel shearers.
  • FLAIM Trainer™, a virtual reality (VR) firefighter training simulator created by Deakin University, combines industry standard equipment with innovative technology to create a realistic training scenario for future firefighters.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) hosted their Research Forum on the first day of AFAC18, at which they launched the much-anticipated Southern Australia Bushfire Outlook 2018.

When launching the research, Dr Richard Thornton, CEO, said, “the Research Forum continues to support quality and diverse research from the Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC, needed by the industry. The Research Forum embraces scientific research and provided the perfect platform for the sector to hear about what is changing.”

In addition, the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, held the inaugural Australian Disaster Resilience Conference running concurrently with AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ. Themed “The rise of resilience: from the individual to the global,” it explored national and global strategy and direction, as well as community resilience.

Stuart Ellis said, “In the context of a changing climate, we’re facing more frequent, more severe disaster events. It’s more important than ever that we invest in disaster resilience – building the capacity of our communities to withstand and bounce back from the increasingly destructive disasters they will face.

Disaster resilience is vital to the emergency services sector, attendees had opportunities to hear about measuring and assessing resilience, strategies and policies. Running concurrently with AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ was a huge success and we already look forward to 2019,” said Mr Ellis.

AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 27-30 August 2019. It will be co-produced by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and Deutsche Messe. It will explore how the emergency management sector is transitioning to a new normal.

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