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MFB experiences large increase in calls due to heat - UPDATE

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29 Jan 2009
Emergency calls to the MFB have jumped dramatically over the past 24 hours, as Victoria’s emergency services cope with the extreme heatwave across Melbourne’s suburbs.

MFB and CFA firefighters received 986 calls in the metro area over a 24 hour period to midnight last night. The MFB responded to 266 incidents, well above the average of around 100 per day. In particular, crews attended multiple power pole and transformer fires as a result of the heat.

The MFB is urging the public to exercise due caution as the heatwave continues.

“A number of small bin fires, particularly in Melbourne’s CBD, could have been easily prevented had people butted out their cigarettes properly. These kinds of calls place an unnecessary strain on our resources and congest 000 lines,” said Chief Fire Officer Tony Murphy.

Chief Fire Officer Murphy commended the efforts of firefighters.

“In these kinds of extreme conditions, firefighters work incredibly hard to protect the community while coping with the effects of the heat themselves. We make every effort to ensure our firefighters don’t suffer from heat related stresses, and we appreciate their dedication and commitment to keeping Melbourne safe,” he said.

For more information on summer fire safety, visit www.mfb.vic.gov.au

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact the Media and Communications Department on (03) 9665 4394 or media@mfb.vic.gov.au

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