South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service

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Adelaide grandmother helps MFS firefighters comfort children

Adelaide grandmother, Fay Smith is an integral part of an MFS firefighter's role at emergency incidents affecting children.
From her northern suburbs home, she spends hours lovingly knitting and embroidering comfort dolls that have become an essential tool on many Adelaide-based MFS fire trucks.

The colourful dolls might spend days, weeks or months riding along in the trucks next to angle grinders, air sets and the jaws of life – until they're suddenly and very urgently needed.

MFS Commander Community Safety and Resilience, Greg Howard, said some of the most challenging incidents firefighters respond to involve children who've been affected by trauma.

"Once we've extracted people and made an incident scene safe, that's when firefighters might have a role comforting a child who has witnessed a crash or fire."

"Fay's handmade comfort dolls are an important part of helping a child cope with what they might have seen. The dolls provide immediate comfort from a firefighter - and lasting support as the child recovers," MFS Commander Howard said.

Fay, the mother of an MFS firefighter, receives regular feedback from crews that her skilfully handcrafted dolls are making a difference.

"They've told me that when you give children the doll, they just light up, you know the look on their faces. I've got a letter from one firefighter... and he'd given a few out and he said seeing the joy on their faces, he said that he hoped I keep doing them."

Fay Smith has been creating comfort dolls for the MFS for about six years and estimates she's made at least 600 of them in that time. Each doll is unique and takes a day to complete.

The dolls vary in themes, from firefighters, paramedics, police officers, volunteer rescue workers through to pirates, ballerinas and even Rambo. Feedback indicates that Rambo appears to be the crowd favourite.

One of Fay's favourite stories involves two children who received the dolls from a firefighter at an incident scene. "The firefighter gave the boy one doll and the girl one doll. And next thing he looked around the girl's got both of them and she's said, 'you're not having them, they're too nice!'"

All jokes aside, Fay dearly loves her important role with the MFS comfort dolls project.

"It's gratifying to me to know that they are appreciated."

"I keep all the little letters I receive from the fire service, which is nice; it's nice to feel appreciated. It makes my day."

Hazardous Chemicals Storage

Do you have a site with a notifiable quantity of hazardous chemicals? (Notifiable quantity in relation to notifying Safework SA).

If you do, then you are required to create an emergency plan and submit a copy to the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) or South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS).

The South Australian Work Health and Safety Regulators (WHS Reg), requires employers, controllers of premises, occupiers of Dangerous Goods sites and operators of MHFs to carry out a thorough risk assessment to identify, eliminate or control hazards and risks at the site.

Clauses 361 and 557 of the WHS Reg have specific requirements in relation to Hazardous Chemicals (listed in Schedule 11 of the WHS Reg) and materials used, stored or handled at MHF's (listed in Schedule 15 of the WHS Reg).

The MFS and CFS recommend that a whole of site approach to the development of a comprehensive Emergency Plan is adopted. The Emergency Plan should be developed using the site risk assessment as a basis for determining what is required for inclusion in the plan.

To assist operators and licence holders in developing a comprehensive emergency plan, the MFS and CFS have also developed a general emergency plan guideline (Emergency Plans at Facilities having Notifiable Quantities of Hazardous Chemicals and Major Hazard Facilities, MFS Special Risks Department Guideline No. 001).

Click here for more information.

In an Emergency

Call Triple Zero in an emergency. Clicking this link will take you to a page with information on how Triple Zero works and when to use it.106 is the Australian text-based emergency service number. Clicking this link will take you to the Relay Service website with information about 106 Text Emergency Services. It will open in a new tab or window.
Clicking this link will take you to the Alert SA website, which provides access to official, real-time event and warning information in South Australia. This link will open in a new tab or window.Call 1300 362 361 for the latest information on bushfires from the South Australian Country Fire Service.


Out and About

MFS Open Day 2015

The 2015 MFS Open Day was another huge success!

A big thank you to all those involved and to everyone who visited us on the day.

The MFS hopes everyone who attended had an enjoyable time.

See you next year!

Adelaide Station Open Day 2015

Adelaide Station Open Day1 2015

Adelaide Station Open Day2 2015

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