By Evelyn Leckie
GOVERNOR of Victoria Linda Dessau visited the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Northern District Office on Thursday to thank emergency services and listen to residents affected by the Plenty Gorge suburban fire.
Ms Dessau visited the burnt gorge with City of Whittlesea Mayor Emilia Sterjova and affected resident Simone O’Hare, before addressing CFA members, police officers and community members.
“It does impress upon me, when I look at the houses right nearby, what an extraordinary job the emergency services did that day,” Ms Dessau said.
“We tend to forget those who help quietly in the background – police, evacuation services and traffic control.”
The Victorian Governor personally thanked the quick-thinking emergency services and said she was there to listen to people affected by the incident.
“It’s re-traumatising for this community to have any further interaction with fires that are so threatening,” she said.
“I want you to know we’re very conscious of the fact it’s been a difficult time – we have a long, difficult summer ahead.”
City of Whittlesea Mayor Emilia Sterjova also thanked emergency services for their efforts.
“Something great to see in the middle of this crisis is our community coming together to help,” she said.
“The fires we’ve experienced were small in respect to the country, but they weren’t small to our community.
“Luckily our emergency services were there within minutes and the situation was remedied immediately.”
Affected residents Sim Pin and Sam Joseph said they felt safe knowing the CFA were protecting their properties.
“I could see the fire coming, I had my grandchildren with me when I rang emergency services,” Ms Joseph said.
“As I rang I could see the police, fire brigade and a helicopter began bombing water over the park.”
“The CFA were there and in control – on the streets to look after the houses,” Mr Joseph said.