Users not appy about updates

THE new FireReady app has received mixed reviews from users, with many saying it lacks detail and doesn’t run properly.

The smartphone app is used by the public to monitor fires across the state and provide warnings about dangers.

The Bendigo Advertiser asked what people thought of the program, and many said it did not work properly.

Jayne Young, who said she was a volunteer fire fighter, said there were issues with the new version.

“I liked the app before the update,” she said.

“The new version is a bit confusing, but I’m sure with some playing around we will get used to it.”

Jason Fisher said the app was prone to freezing while Chelsea Downing said fire locations were often inaccurate.

“Would also like to see more detailed information about exactly where the fire is,” she said.

“(The) general area can be misleading when the point on the map is 20km from the actual fire front.”

The app listed different locations and distances for the same fire in Sedgwick at the weekend.

The app provides similar information to the warnings and incidents section of the CFA website, which crashed in January during its first major test.

Staff for Minister for Bushfire Response Kim Wells did not return calls Monday.

CFA operations manager Mark Gilmore said it was not solely the reponsibility of fire authorities to keep residents safe.

“People should not expect a warning every time,” he said.

“Keeping the community safe is a shared responsibility between the community and fire authorities. People need to have their own situational awareness.”

Mr Gilmore said there was a “delicate balance” between issuing too many warnings and keeping people informed.

He said authorities were also unable to protect every home.

“If we think back to Black Saturday, there were hundreds of homes on the outskirts of Bendigo that could have been impacted. So there is never going to be a fire truck at every house," he said.  

We have to make judgements on stopping the fire and protecting assets.

“That’s why we have fire control priorities, which are for the protection of life and issuing of warnings to the community.

“Those first two are the same thing.

“If we can let the community know, they can take their own actions to save their own lives.”

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