Knox Operational Area
Knox Group is located primarily in the City of Knox and partially in the City of Maroondah, the Shire of Cardinia and the Shire of Yarra Ranges. The area includes Ferntree Gully, Upper Ferntree Gully, Boronia, The Basin, Rowville, Wantirna, Wantirna South, Lysterfield (part), Knoxfield, Scoresby and Bayswater within the City of Knox. Montrose, Kilsyth and Lysterfield (part) are outside the City of Knox and comprise the components of the municipalities of Maroondah and Yarra Ranges that are covered by Knox Group our Patron is Hurtle Lupton who has been a long time supporter of the Knox Group. See figure 1.
Knox is approximately 25kms from the Melbourne GPO and at an area of over 120 sq km covers one of the most populous municipalities in Victoria with over 160,000 residents the area has residential, commercial and retail precincts and also incorporates the Dandenong Ranges foothills. The area has a diverse community with residents from 130 different countries who speak 54 languages. While Knox has a large residential population base, it also has substantial business, retail, industrial and manufacturing precincts.
The Knox Group area encompasses a range of risks which include:-
- Large industrial areas encompassing light, medium and heavy industry.
- Extensive established residential areas with some areas of ongoing development.
- Significant commercial and retail areas with principal activity centres at Knox City and Caribbean Gardens
- 28 government primary schools are located in Knox, 6 government secondary schools and a number of private education facilities.
- A number of sporting facilities with fluctuating populations
- Areas of tourism and hospitality
- Numerous and varied (road and rail) transport corridors
- Significant areas of environmental (urban/rural) interface
- Significant wildfire risk in areas of both National Parks and private wildfire risk
Knox Group Resources
Knox Group is comprised of 8 fire brigades; Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Montrose, Rowville, Scoresby, The Basin and Upper Ferntree Gully. All brigades with the exception of Upper Ferntree Gully are classified under the CFA risk classification profile as Structure with Bushfire brigades. Upper Ferntree Gully maintains a Low Structure classification. Currently Boronia and Rowville are integrated brigades (with staff). Knox brigades respond to in excess of 3000 primary and support calls each year and have approximately 400 to 450 volunteers and 35 Full time staff.
- 7 Pumpers (medium/heavy)
- 9 Tankers
- 2 Pumper/Tankers
Knox Group brigades have over a number of years specialised in a number of different fire and incident response capabilities and specialised response vehicles, incorporating:
- Breathing Apparatus
- LPG Emergency
- Hose Layer
- Lighting van
- Slip On tankers
- Light pumper
- 3 FCV’s
- 1 Bigfill
- Other support vehicles
Knox Group Role
The role of the Group needs to be read in conjunction with the Chief Officers Standing Orders and SOP’s on the role of Groups. The roles listed below are roles and functions identified for specific consideration within Knox Group. It is not proposed that the Group would take operational control of any incident unless requested to do so .
- Provide support and assistance in the management of multiple brigade responses within the Knox Group area
- Co-ordinate and maintain local response integrity when multiple Knox Group resources are unavailable for Knox Group response
- Manage / co-ordinate Knox Group response for support to other Groups and Regions
- Manage / co-ordinate Knox Group IMT capability and response
- Represent Knox Group brigades at Region, Area and CFA forums
- Brief and inform Region and Area management on issues impacting across brigades
- Manage / co-ordinate Group recruit training program
- Assist with / co-ordination of cross brigade training
- Assist and support local brigade management teams as required
- Co-ordinate and chair regular meetings of brigade delegates for discussion and decision on group related matters and provide briefings to brigade delegates on issues managed or co-ordinated by Knox Group Management Team
Identified Future Challenges
The Eastlink freeway was completed at the end of the previous financial year and has increased access to the eastern suburbs and is expected to generate further growth in industry, particularly within the municipality of Knox.
The City of Knox has a Development Plan for a revitalised Knox City area, located on the corner of Stud Road and Burwood Highway. The Council’s vision indicates that a residential/commercial/office/shopping precinct as large in area as Melbourne CBD is being considered.
The Region 13 District Operations Management Plan (DOMP) identifies Knox Group as having the largest structural risk in the region as well as having a large wildfire risk. Consequently the profile of most of the brigades within the group is Structure with Wildfire and therefore if the brigades are developing in that direction it is logical to assume that the group would follow suit in support, and plan accordingly. Individual brigades will require planning specific to their own risk profile and the Group strategic plan will need to replicate those plans and assist with development of any individual brigade’s needs.
All of these factors will form the development of any plans to deal with the associated issues both as they currently stand and in the future development of the Knox area.