AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ | 27-30 August 2019 | Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre | #AFAC19

Professional Development Program


The AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ Professional Development Program will give you the chance to embark on engaging field trips and enlightening workshops led by industry professionals. These sessions provide you with the opportunity to get hands-on experiences and interact with peers sharing common interests.

Please note that further sessions will be added to the program in the coming weeks.


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Friday, 30 August 2019

1. Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment Forum - SOLD OUT

Due to the nature of their work frontline fire and emergency service personnel are invariably exposed to dangerous and unpredictable situations and environments. Whilst most of the risks associated with the tasks they undertake are widely recognised an increased focus on occupational health, safety and welfare, underpinned by scientific research and lessons learned, has led to the development of new processes, procedures, products and standards that are creating both challenges and opportunities for our industry. This forum will look at some of those challenges and how they are being dealt with.

One of the most significant challenges currently facing fire and emergency services both here and overseas is associated with the cleaning, decontamination and maintenance of PPE and the impact this has on how it is allocated, used and on its lifecycle. Those who attend this forum will be provided with an update on how this issue is being dealt with both here and overseas from administrative and operational perspectives as well as providing an insight into the science behind it.

The forum will also touch on new and emerging trends, developments and technologies in PPE and be used to provide an update on the ever-evolving world of standards and their associated test procedures.

Supported by:

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2. Fourth National DRANZSEN Forum - SOLD OUT

The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR), through the Education for Young People program, promotes the development of hazard-related knowledge, skills and strategies for all young Australians. Disaster resilience education equips students with the confidence to take protective action before, during and after an emergency or disaster. The Disaster Resilient Australia-New Zealand School Education Network (DRANZSEN) is a national initiative, developing the knowledge and skills of educators to deliver disaster resilience education in partnership with local experts in hazards and emergency management.
This 4th National Forum offers an opportunity for educators, researchers, practitioners from emergency services.

This national event draws on positive outcomes from state and territory DRANZSEN events in May and June, enabling participants to benefit from the diverse experiences of experts and educators from all around the country. Australian students will share personal reflections on disaster resilience learning experiences and suggestions for development. Attendees will be informed of significant findings from a major nationwide research project, evaluating the effectiveness of disaster resilience education programs and resources. Examples of effective learning content and delivery will be presented, and educators will be directed to supporting resources to facilitate the implementation of initiatives in their own context.

Supported by:

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3. Firefighter safety research – bringing the lab to the streets (workshop with Sean DeCrane and Derek Alkonis)

Underwriters Laboratories, the leading fire safety research institute in the US, together with the United States’ National Institute of Standards and Technology, have conducted furnace and full-scale fire testing in recent years to understand the modern fire environment. Like in Australia, this modern fire environment is the work environment for firefighters across the United States and Canada. For firefighters to conduct safer operations, it is vital they understand their work environment and the various factors that can influence fire ground decision making and available tactical considerations.

In this one-day workshop, instructors Derek Alkonis and Sean DeCrane, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (UL FSRI) Advisory Board members, will review the research work of the Institute.

Topics discussed during the session will include:
• The impact of ventilation on fire behavior in compartment fires
• The results of the fire attack study which developed scenarios to measure the impact of water application to the occupant experience
• The impact of specific fire ground assignments on the risks to firefighters related to cardiovascular stress and carcinogenic exposures
• A review of the impact of fire on building materials
• Full-scale fire scenarios measuring ventilation strategies and the application of positive-pressure tactics

The Forum will focus on lessons learned from numerous research projects over the past 12 years, and will utilise test videos, data and real-world reviews to illustrate how the modern fire environment impacts firefighters.

Supported by:


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4. EMSINA presents- Driving Emergency Management’s digital future through the power of location technologies - SOLD OUT

Spatial Information technologies comprise a range of disciplines which come together to provide valuable input across the Emergency Management sector. More commonly referred to as ‘Mapping’, but definitely not just about making maps. Spatial Sciences are at the heart of dispatching, resource allocation, warnings, pre incident planning, incident statistical reporting, fire modelling, remote sensing, plume modelling, impact assessment, smart devices, machine learning and field mapping – all key decision support areas in emergency management.

Through full presentations and lightning talks, this workshop will showcase examples of the use and the growing demands of mapping and location technologies to not only support transformational change in the Emergency Service sector workforce, but also our public information demands. During this professional development opportunity, you will see presentations from our Emergency Service Organisations across Australia along with some of the major vendors of location technologies. We will hear about how their systems held up to demand in recent crisis, what could have been better and most important we will focus on what the future holds from an ever increasing need for spatial in modern digital solutions. This program is coordinated by the Emergency Management Spatial Information Network Australia (EMSINA).

Supported by:


Fujitsu AFAC19

Download the program here



Field Trip: Cultural burning for management outcomes

Victoria recently released the “Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy” which provides a framework to reinvigorate cultural fire through Traditional Owner led practice across all types of Country and land tenure; enabling Traditional Owners to heal Country and fulfill their rights and obligations to care for Country.

This field trip presents an opportunity to engage with indigenous fire practitioners and witness and hear the wisdom of ancient indigenous land management practices. Walk on Country with local indigenous elders and fire practitioners and gain a small insight into the methodologies, Lore and holistic lens of indigenous land and fire management practices. The event will offer a new way of looking at the responsibilities and connection to the environment. The session will talk about the ‘right medicine’ required to keep people and Country safe from large bushfires and shift thinking to the potential of new management practices.

The conversations on Country will explore development of relationships to work collaboratively to understand how partnerships can be useful to achieve objectives for both Traditional Owners and land management agencies.

Events Schedule:
8.00 am – Depart MCEC
9.30 am Arrive Healesville Sanctuary (presenters – DELWP and Wurundjeri, NSW RFS)
9.30 – 12.00 Presentations and discussions (with morning tea)
12:00 – 12:30 Drive to Toolangi
12:30 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 15:00 Presentations and discussions (presenters – DELWP, CFA, Wurundjeri and Dja Dja Wurrung) (with afternoon teas)
15:00 – 16:00 Drive to Melbourne Airport
17:00 – Arrive back at MCEC

The field trip is supported by the Wurundjeri people, DELWP, Parks Victoria and the Centre of Excellence for Prescribed Burning.



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