|Abstract||‘Knowing your patch’ at the local level for fire services is not just about knowing what the fire risk is and the important infrastructure that needs protecting. ‘Knowing your patch’ is also about who lives in your community, their vulnerabilities and capacities for dealing with bushfires, their perceptions of bushfires, expectations of fire services, expectations the fire service have of the community and organisational needs to address these issues.
What follows is a method for gaininginformation that can be used for identifying:
• a community profile
• people’s capacity to deal with and vulnerability to bushfires
• people’s perceptions of bushfire issues and expectations of service delivery
• organisational needs at the local level for clarifying community members
• ways of moving forward
Based on the research available to date, particularly through the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre, key points that apply to each of these topics are identified.