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MFB launches disability action plan

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03 Dec 2008
The MFB will officially launch a disability action plan that will enhance relationships between firefighters and people living with disabilities.

WHEN: Friday 5 December 2008, 11.00am – 12.00pm

WHERE: MFB Burnley complex, 450 Burnley St, Richmond

WHY: The MFB’s disability action plan will be officially launched by Mr Graeme Innes, Human Rights Commissioner and Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

The document provides the framework for an organisational approach towards interaction and assistance between the MFB and people living with a disability.

The Disability Advisory Council of Victoria estimates that around 20 per cent of the states population is currently living with a disability, highlighting the need for the MFB to continue to connect with this group. This figure is expected to rise in the future.

Manager of diversity development Dalal Smiley said that the MFB’s work on the disability action plan has been informed by extensive consultations with community disability groups, service providers,
advocacy bodies and MFB staff.

“We are keen to work closely with disability groups to ensure that our fire safety messages, educational tools and community support programs reach people with various disabilities, as they can often be most at risk in times of fires, rescue and evacuations operations.

“Furthermore, the plan will enable the MFB to identify and work towards removing barriers experienced by people with disabilities in accessing MFB services and employment opportunities, something we
feel strongly about,” she said.

Ms Smiley said that the MFB is committed to developing sustainable relationships with the diverse communities that it serves.

“Among other things, the disability action plan will ensure that the MFB is inclusive of people with disabilities through the services we provide, information we produce, programs we design, events we organise and
community engagement efforts we get involved in.

“The plan also commits the MFB to develop a formal policy on support, redeployment and retraining for MFB employees who develop a disability,” she said.

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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