Fire Lessons 02

How fireproof is your plan?

NSW Rural Fire Service 'Fire Lessons' Campaign

Client

  • NSW Rural Fire Service

Office

  • Australia
  • Sydney

Challenge

The devastating 2019/2020 Australian bush fire season was one of the worst in living memory. 26 people lost their lives and more than 2000 homes were destroyed in NSW alone, and there was a significant impact on the environment and communities across the State.

With so many people being affected so recently, bush fires are in the public consciousness more than usual. We needed to remind people that it’s important to learn from the experiences of others, and there are things that everyone in high-risk areas can do to plan and prepare properly for the coming season.

Last fire season was unprecedented in terms of fire danger, fire activity and impact on the community. So often after fires we hear how people wished they did more to plan and prepare, and this is one of the key fire lessons. The challenge has been delivering a campaign that is authentic and sensitive and by using real people and real stories, it underlines the very real danger posed by fires while also giving some hope as communities continue to recover from this terrible fire event.

Anthony Clark

Director Communications and Engagement at the NSW RFS

Insight

The question at the centre of last year’s campaign, ‘How fireproof is your plan?’, resonated strongly with fire-affected communities, so we wanted to build on this. Our challenge was how to do this sensitively.

Our solution was to tell authentic stories, based on self-reflection, about peoples’ own fire experiences – helping them share their own ‘fire lessons’ with others to ensure the importance of proper preparedness cuts through.

Idea

The campaign’s lead film features Jim Hughes, a South Coast resident who lost his home on New Year’s Eve. Jim recorded from a distance as his home burned down in front of his eyes.


Jim bravely recounts his experience and relays the lessons he learned, to ask Australians the question: ‘How fireproof is your plan?’. Alongside the main film, the campaign also features Jim reading his own emotive poem titled ‘I just want to go home’, reflecting on his experiences and helping him process the bereavement that comes with being displaced from his family home.

NSW Rural Fire Service How fireproof is your plan
I just want to go home by Jim Hughes NSW Rural Fire Service
WT Aus RFS Print
WT Aus Fire Lessons 01
WT Aus Fire Lessons 03
WT Aus Fire Lessons 08
WT Aus Fire Lessons 07