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WAFES Conference – putting community first
Monday 21 September 2015 – 11:50 AM

The fifth annual Western Australian Fire and Emergency Services Conference took over the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 September. Watch the conference wrap video here.

With its theme of ‘Putting Community First’ the conference brought together more than 700 likeminded volunteers and firefighters from across the State and provided an opportunity to network, acquire new skills, and participate in a range of facility tours, workshops and presentations.

Volunteer associations worked together with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) to develop an exciting program, building on professional development experiences and enabling delegates to share and expand their knowledge.
Key note speakers Corporal Mark Donaldson VC and Allan Sparkes CV VA delivered powerhouse speeches filled with insight and inspiration, while a diverse line up of speakers covered a wide range of interesting and relevant topics throughout the conference.
The award ceremonies were a highlight of the weekend, with remarkable firefighters and volunteers from all services recognised for their outstanding efforts in protecting Western Australian communities.
Always a popular feature, live practical demonstrations showcased the latest equipment and techniques in a range of service specific and multi-agency emergency response scenarios. These included confined space vertical rescue, responding to hazardous materials and Urban Search and Rescue canines in action. One standout was the road crash rescue exercise, during which personnel from Perth Fire Station and St John Ambulance demonstrated the safe removal of a casualty from a vehicle.
The new exhibition hall provided the chance for delegates to learn more about DFES, as well as the chance to view the latest appliances.
Throughout the weekend there were also plenty of opportunities for delegates to catch up with fellow volunteers and meet new friends from across WA, with events such as the welcome sundowner and the dinners organised by the associations.