Since joining the Brisbane Metropolitan Fire Brigade (BMFB) in 1975, and throughout his 41 years as an operational fire officer, Graeme Thom has held positions including acting Assistant Commissioner – Community Safety and Risk Management, Director of Operational Improvement, Executive Manager of Queensland’s Fire Safety Department, and Brisbane City Fire Commander, to name a few.
He also chaired Australia’s Fire Safety Built Environment Committee for over 10 years, as well as being Vice President of the Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPA), and has represented the fire service on many government committees. So, naturally, we’re thrilled to have him as part of our Emergency Industry Advisory Board here at Locatrix.
“When I joined the Brisbane Metropolitan Fire Brigade, now QFES, I along with my fellow recruits committed ourselves to protecting life, property, and the environment from fire. This commitment was outlined in the old Fire Brigades Act of 1964 and has always stayed with me,” he said.
To this day, Graeme remains passionate about fire safety, the fire services, and disaster and emergency management at a local, state, national and international level, and says that sharing knowledge can create wisdom to further develop organisations, which is a mindset he hopes to bring to the Locatrix Emergency Industry Advisory Board.
“Most firefighters would agree that our commitment doesn’t stop when you leave the fire service. So once I came on-board with Locatrix and had the Emergency Services Portal (ESP) concept explained to me, it was clear that by supporting this initiative, it would further enable me to continue my commitment to protect life, property and the environment, in particular protecting the lives of firefighters,” he said.
When discussing the benefits our Emergency Services Platform (ESP) can provide to first responders, Graeme says that having immediate and easy-to-access information will serve as a ‘tactical tool box’ for responding firefighters and other emergency services personnel, and is a great leap forward in creating better firefighter ‘situational awareness’.
“The impact the ESP will have is significant. The use of such data through systems and technology like this will inevitably save lives, including that of firefighters. It will also better protect property and the environment from fire and, because of the capabilities of the ESP, it will also help to protect life, property, and the environment from other types of emergency events,” he said.
Had Graeme been given a tool like the Emergency Services Platform during his time on the frontline, he says it would have or at least could have minimised many of the negative consequences he and his colleagues faced regularly.
Graeme is very optimistic about the future the Emergency Services Portal. His influence and expertise through his contribution to Locatrix’s Emergency Industry Advisory Board will no doubt play a vital role in its further development.
“I anticipate that the use of the ESP will become the norm for fire services, the fire industry and also the end users, for example building owners, occupiers and facility managers. I believe the ESP will effectively and positively help protect not only the lives of first responders and in particular firefighters, but it will also better enable them to continue to do what they do best,” he said.