Wayne Rigg’s Scholarship

Aviation capability to meet an ‘All Hazards, All Agency, All Year’ Approach to protect Victorian communities

Objectives of research project:-

  1. Investigate and make recommendations in relation to the future operational use of aviation capability to meet the gaps identified in the Fire & Emergency Aviation Capability Plan 2014/15.
  2. Research existing Air Operations Units to document the systems, training, equipment and resourcing requirements to maintain an “all hazards” capability.
  3. Understand the opportunities, challenges and limitations within each of the departments to address the risks of their communities.
  4. Utilise this knowledge to develop a template for CFA and Victoria’s capability.

Fire and emergency services use aircraft to complement their ground capability to expedite the response of technical/specialist rescue teams and equipment. This is particularly true for departments whose jurisdiction includes large geographical areas, hostile terrain, or impediments to travel, such as heavy traffic or topographic features (e.g. mountains, lakes, rivers or the ocean).

I visited the following agencies and would like to thank them for sharing their time and knowledge:-

  • US Forest Service
  • Sacramento Metro Fire Department Air Ops
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Sonoma County Sheriff
  • San Diego County Sheriff
  • San Diego Metro Fire Air Ops
  • CAL Fire
  • LA City Fire Air Ops
  • LA County Air Ops
  • San Bernardino Sheriff Air Ops
  • Center of Excellence for advanced technology aerial fire fighting – Colorado
  • Wyoming Air National Guard

The research I undertook will be utilised to develop a template for Victoria to establish an aviation capability to meet the “All communities, all emergencies” need for Victoria.