The 2013 Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA) conference was held on the 20 & 21 November 2013 at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre at beautiful Darling Harbour. The conference focused on the The Journey to Professionalism- specifically in regard to enhancing professional standards across the fire protection industry-
The NSW Rural Fire Services (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons opened the conference and he spoke of his 20 years experience in the field and the changes in the level of professionalism and continual improvements in training and standardised procedures within the RFS. Such professionalism means that during bushfire events such as the recent Blue Mountains fires, he could direct RFS bridades from various part of the country knowing that the standardized training they have received meat that a consistent approach was implemented in controlling the bushfires. In summary, they all spoke the same 'language' and were trained to a given standard.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons also spoke about the RFS support for the Bushfire Planning and Design Accreditation Scheme (BPAD) run by FPA. Such accreditation scheme is an apt example of the journey to professionalism and the core team of the conference. The BPAD accreditation was developed to recognise the skills of individuals who prepare bushfire risk assessments and development plans for new building work. Currently they are 50 accredited BPAD practitioners in NSW.
LFA managing partner is one of the accredited Level 3 or A (the highest accreditation level) PBAD practitioners. As an accredited practitioner Paola can undertake Bushfire Assessment reports for infill and subdivision developments, BAL certificates and Special Fire Protection Purposes (SFPP) developments. She can also undertake alternative solution assessments and assess bushfire compliance with given development conditions.