By Callum Ludwig
A former Yellingbo local has officially started a new role, leading the way in Victoria’s emergency response.
Rick Nugent APM started a five-year term as the new Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner on 11 September, having been Victoria Police’s Deputy Police Commissioner since November 2018.
Mr Nugent said having grown up in regional Victoria, he understands the challenges regional and rural communities can face when it comes to emergencies.
“I look forward to my term as Commissioner and working with all our great people across the sector and the community, including those in regional areas, to keep Victorians safe before, during and after emergencies,” he said.
“If you haven’t already, download the VicEmergency app and know where you can receive emergency information, including your local emergency broadcasters.”
Mr Nugent enters his new role with a wealth of experience, having led police operations during the Covid-19 pandemic and the October 2022 floods as State Police Commander, with other leadership involvement in the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires, large-scale protests, sporting events and a range of critical incidents over 35 years with Victoria Police.
Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes joined Mr Nugent at the State Control Centre for the latest Seasonal Bushfire Outlook on Wednesday 13 September.
“Mr Nugent has provided exceptional leadership in community safety and brings decades of experience to a role that is of vital importance to the safety of Victorians,” Ms Symes said.
“We need to do everything we can to keep communities safe this fire season and bushfire preparedness is the best way to do it.”
Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) are urging residents to have a bushfire survival plan and to prepare their properties ahead of a dry spring, with three years of La Nina conditions meaning the potential for grassfires is high.
EMV is working with agencies such as CFA to ensure incident management teams and Level Three State Control Centres are prepared this bushfire season.
For more information on how to prepare for fires and other emergencies download the VicEmergency app or visit emergency.vic.gov.au.