Chelsea Controller Ron Fitch Citizen of the Year 2018

What an amazing year it has been for Chelsea SES Controller, Ron Fitch. In July 2017, Ron was made a life member of the Victoria State Emergency Service, recognising his 25 years of service, as well as his continuous support of units outside of his own, that has seen him actively involved in almost every deployment throughout Victoria over the last 15 years, as well as interstate deployments including South Australia and New South Wales. Over the years, Ron has been a part of several SES working groups, including vehicle and fleet, as well as a working group that investigated the information ESTA operators obtain when speaking with complainants regarding calls for assistance from SES. Ron’s commitment to his community through VICSES is unwavering and his determination to see the Chelsea unit volunteers deliver best practise support through training and mentoring, is as strong today as ever. In January 2018, Ron was named City of Kingston, Outstanding Citizen of the Year, honouring him for his fantastic service to the local community. At a wonderful, Australia Day breakfast, Ron was presented with his award by City of Kingston Mayor, Councillor Steve Staikos who spoke in glowing terms of Ron’s relationship with Council and how his role as Controller of the Chelsea Unit has seen a continuous growth in their ability to service the increasing needs of an ever-growing community. And now, Ron’s dedication has been 1 recognised once again, this time by the Premier of Victoria, as a recipient of a Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Champions Award for 2018 in the Service Category On the 9th of September, Ron escorted his 93-year-old Mum as well as his son and daughter to Government House for a reception hosted by the Governor of Victoria. Ron’s award was presented by The Parliamentary Secretary for Volunteers, Ms Gabrielle Williams MP and also in attendance was Victoria’s new Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp. Ron was nominated by local State member of Parliament, Tim Richardson who said, “Ron is certainly one of the most deserving people I know to be recognised in this way, this is exactly what these awards are about, saying thank you in a very public way to the selfless Victorian volunteers who give so much”. Ron said, “I am very humbled to be receiving this award and it certainly came out of left field, it is certainly has been an amazing year”. Phil Wall said, “after this, the only thing that is missing will be Ron getting the Gold Logie next year or maybe the Brownlow”.



Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp Started at EMV

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp has been appointed Emergency Management Commissioner. During service with Victoria Police of over 40 years he gas a diverse and distinguished career. Deputy Commissions Crisp was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2012 and was appointed Deputy Commissioner in charge of regional operations in 2015.

He has also worked with the Royal PNG Constabulary and the UN in East Timor. Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said “I would like to thank Andrew for his dedicated services to Victoria Police and the Victorian community over his distinguished career and wish him all the very best in this next chapter of his career. We look forward to working with Andrew as the Emergency Management Commissioner.” Andrew Crisp has been a member of the State Emergency Management Team, State Coordination Team and co-chair of the Emergency Management Joint Public Information Committee working through major fires such as Wye River. Her has been involved in the response to a number of major incidents, such as the Ash Wednesday Bushfires, the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, Christchurch earthquake, Queensland floods and Bourke Street. Commissioner Crisp described his start this week: “I have been warmly welcomed by people across the sector. I have attended a number of events and seen first-hand just how broad our sector is. It’s been great to connect with people from Lifesaving Victoria, CFA and local councils just to name a few…What has been clear to me is the pride and passion in our people. Together, we have an opportunity to make a huge impact across communities”. He referred to the upcoming fire season and the need to work together: “We are also focused on the health and safety of our emergency management personnel so that they are able to continue to protect and respond to the community in emergencies. Looking after people is so important to me. I’m really looking forward to listening to you, learning from you and working with you”.


Yackandandah ASAS team at Falls Creek

The Yackandandah Unit has been a part of the ASAS (alpine search and survival) team since it began about 10 years ago. Currently the unit have seven members qualified to attend rescues in the alpine environment. Each year consists of rigorous training activities and in August the unit had three members attend a mid-week training session. During the two days members had to hike about 6 kms to Pretty Valley where tents are erected and sorted for sleeping the night on the snow. Emergency shelters are dug and casualty handling is trained. The exercises that are done are to maintain the skills of the operators. Yackandandah members usually train four to five times a year and often train with Falls Creek unit, where snowmobiles are used. It is always great to catch up with the Falls Creek unit members and discuss training techniques in the alpine environment. With their help and knowledge both units are equipped to conduct rescues in the alpine environment. Many thanks to the Falls Creek members for their time.