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Annual Community Seminar, South East SAVFBA
Submitted On Monday, August 16, 2004
Submitted By Ashley Hosking


More than 160 emergency service personnel and their families were treated to a night of special guests on Saturday 14 August for the annual community seminar hosted by the South East Branch of the SA Volunteer Fire Brigades Association.

The event was held at the historic Naracoorte Town Hall in hope of building the already strong relationship between the emergency services of the State’s South East including the SA Country Fire Service, Metropolitan Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Police, Ambulance and Community Based Service Organizations.

Guests were treated to a series of three motivational speakers who shared their own experience in the emergency services including Leadership Consultant Bob Kearney, Chairman of the newly formed SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission Vince Monterola, and Director of Trauma Services at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Dr Bill Griggs.

Author and leadership consultant Bob Kearney, who conduced two tours of South Vietnam in an Infantry Leadership role with the Australian Army, shared of his leadership experience and how the emergency services could learn a great deal about the teamwork displayed by animals. He sighted one particular example of how geese fly in a ‘V’ pattern to save each other’s energy when migrating thousands of kilometres across continents.

Vince Montorola, a CFS volunteer for over 40 years and Chairman of the newly formed SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission, shared a history of South Australia’s fire services. The audience were stunned as Mr Monterola recalled the days of when the State’s fire service was operated by the Fire Insurance Society and would only ever respond to house fires if the owners were up to date with their insurance payments. Mr Monterola also shared his vision for the Commission and what the members of the State’s fire services could expect in the future.

Dr Bill Griggs, Director of Trauma Services at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a volunteer with St John Ambulance since 1975, was directly involved with the evacuation and medical treatment of over 50 victims of the Bali bombing in 2002. After he shared a graphic account of the event Dr Griggs went on to say how the Federal Government and emergency services had learnt from the tragedy and has since taken steps to better prepare for such events should they occur in the future.

Following the speaker’s presentations, the guests enjoyed supper.

SAVFBA South East Branch President Rex Hall said: “The evening was a great opportunity for personnel from all emergency services to network and build friendships as well as learn from the experience of others (the speakers) who have made valuable contributions to society.”

Further details and any enquiries to.

Rex Hall

SE Branch

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