Country Fire Authority launches online emergency communication process to prepare Victorian residents for bush fire season

SAP to help CFA prepare Victoria residents for bush fire season

Victoria, AustraliaThe Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria has launched SAP CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to deliver the Community Meetings CRM Project. The Community Meetings help build and strengthen self-reliant communities, deliver quality services and improve the safety and capability of the CFA across the state of Victoria. The Community Meetings CRM Project will greatly assist CFA in delivering quality services which best support the community. The project, implemented by Fujitsu Australia, is now live and can be found at www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

“The SAP system enables CFA staff to communicate with citizens and provides an infrastructure for the transfer of crucial information and updates during emergency situations,” said Michael Foreshew, CIO, CFA. “Over the last few months and ongoing, we are gathering residents’ contact details and demographics, so that we know where people live and who they are, which has allowed us to create a risk profile on all residents on the new system.”

The new software enables CFA to proactively email registered residents in urban areas about fire preparedness and provide risk status updates. The CFA is holding community meetings to collect residents’ details, which are input into the new system in the lead up to bush fire season. More than 100 community meetings are taking place.

“Residents can now log onto our website and book themselves into one of the meetings taking place in their local area, so that they can register their details. The meetings provide an opportunity for residents to register their details and include fire management training – a program called Community Fireguard. The initiative will ensure that Victorians are better prepared for emergency situations,” said Foreshew.

The CRM software went live in mid October this year, with between ten and 20 CFA users working with the system.

“We see this as a significant step towards creating better communication and services for our communities,” said Foreshew. “The CFA covers all private land outside CBD areas in Victoria, which is about 65 per cent of the state’s population. We expect the new software to help us better manage the volume of people we need to communicate with throughout the difficult summer months.”

CFA is one of the world’s largest volunteer based emergency management organisations and has been involved in fighting a number of major fires. There are currently more than 1,200 CFA brigades servicing the operational areas throughout regional Victoria (except state forests and parks) and outer metropolitan Melbourne. In recent times, CFA’s responsibilities for responding to urban and transport risks have grown substantially.

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