On 19 May 2011, Senior Station Officer Adrian Devenish of the CFA was the initial incident controller at the TriTech Lubricants fire located in Dandenong South, Victoria, Australia. Over 100 firefighters and 30 fire appliances were required to combat the blaze.
Dandenong, Victoria, Australia
Dandenong is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, approximately 30 km south-east from the Melbourne CBD. Over 160,000 people live in Dandenong. Greater Dandenong is the most culturally diverse are in Victoria, with over half of its population born overseas, from more than 160 different birthplaces. The industrial areas of Dandenong form part of one of Australia’s most significant manufacturing places.
TriTech Lubricants was located in Dandenong South, in Victoria, Australia. The business stored large quantities of oil products, including engine oil and transmission oil for the domestic and industrial use.
Review of the TriTech Lubricants Factory Fire
A review into the fire was requested by the then Fire Services Commissioner. The terms of reference of the report were threefold.
- The command and control arrangements.
- The control strategies employed.
- The issuing of community information.
This report can be downloaded from the Emergency Management Victoria website.
Key learnings from Adrian’s interview:
Establish an Incident Emergency Management Team Early
An Incident Emergency Management Team (IEMT) should be established as early as possible. An IEMT is particularly important where multiple agencies are combatting an incident. In such cases, the Incident Controller forms the IEMT to assist in determining and implementing appropriate strategies.
The Fundaments of Emergency Management (Class 1 Emergencies) states that the “first contact between the Incident Controller and support agencies represents the formation of the IEMT“.
The Incident Emergency Management team established for the TriTech fire included:
- Victoria Police,
- Environmental Protection Agency,
- The city of Greater Dandenong,
- Viridian New World Glass,
- Energy authorities (gas and power),
- Melbourne Water,
- South East Water,
- Ambulance Victoria and
- the TriTech owner.
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