The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (www.dfes.wa.gov.au)

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) (Formerly The Fire and Emergency Services Authority of WA) performs a critical role in coordinating emergency services for a range of natural disasters and emergency incidents threatening life and property. The College's Evacuation and Emergency Procedures reflect the DFES advice in responding to bushfire threats.

  • Preparation. We know the bushfire risk and have developed a bushfire survival plan in consultation with DFES.
  • Acting on the fire danger ratings.
  • Survival by monitoring conditions if a fire starts and responding to DFES advice.

The priority will always be to prevent loss of life and in essence the two most likely responses to a bushfire emergency are either a Preemptive School Closure or a Lockdown.

School Closure

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) can recommend to the Department of Education that a school not open for the day. A preemptive school closure will be communicated to the community via a number of channels - radio, TV, mobile phone SMS and the DFES website. If a school closure is ordered parents and carers must not send their children to school. It is likely that there will be few (if any staff) on site as road closures will probably be in place. A preemptive school closure is issued at least 12 hours ahead of the school day. During a bushfire alert it is recommended that all community members frequently access the DFES alerts and warning section of their website. It is a good idea to have this bookmarked on your computer, smart phone and/or iPad.

Lockdown

This will occur if a bushfire threat arises in a manner that does not allow sufficient time for a preemptive closure to be ordered. In this situation the College will be placed under the control of DFES officers and they will be on site in sufficient numbers to protect staff and students. If a lockdown is ordered, there will be no access to the College until the emergency has passed. This will be enforced by DFES, Police and City of Armadale Rangers.

The College, in consultation with DFES, has identified the buildings/blocks where staff and students will be accommodated during the emergency. Each building or block will have a warden and they will be responsible for ensuring that communication with DFES is maintained through our own dedicated and licensed radio channel. Each building or block will also have their own emergency response kit which will contain a megaphone, radio, basic first aid, whistle and a flouro vest (for warden identification).

It should be noted that the College has new buildings that comply with the latest fire safety requirements, a new fire hydrant system, ample buffer zones between bush and buildings and dedicated DFES tracks that provide access to the entire campus. DFES has also conducted fuel load reduction burns on our site. The site is now so well prepared for bushfire emergencies that it may be used as a community evacuation point should this need arise.

Evacuation

It is highly unlikely that DFES will order the campus to be evacuated during a lockdown. However should this be deemed necessary DFES will coordinate the evacuation with the help of police. An evacuation will necessitate a convoy of buses.

Click here to view the Summary of Evacuation and Emergency Response to Bushfire Threat in a pdf.