Members from across the ACT's Emergency Services Agency will relive scenarios from the Orroral Valley bushfire as part of training exercises to prepare firefighters for future bushfire seasons.
The ACT Rural Fire Service's brigade captains will help to design exercise scenarios and training exercises, which will be based off their lived experiences.
The work is being done following criticism from the ACT Bushfire Council about reviews into the territory's 2020 bushfires.
Following the Black Summer bushfires, the ESA conducted an operational review into the fires that found the ACT was well prepared to respond to the summer bushfires. This was alongside several other reviews, including an overall ACT government response.
But the ACT Bushfire Council's preparedness report for the 2020-21 season said that neither review provided a "substantive" account of suppression activities. The council recommended the government commission an independent review into the season.
Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman responded to the council's review by saying that several external and internal reviews had already been done.
However, in the ACT Bushfire Council's monthly meeting in April, attended by Mr Gentleman and ESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan, the council again raised concerns that there had not been a "sufficient" review of suppression actions to provide a detailed review of the event and actions taken.
The meeting minutes said: "council reiterated that they were of the view that there still needed to be a detailed review to be able to inform future preparedness through the provision of case studies".
Ms Whelan confirmed to the meeting that further work was being undertaken and this would form part of a "Captains' Review".
When asked by The Canberra Times about what further work was being done, an ESA spokesman said: "We are incorporating all learnings from previous emergencies, including the Orroral Valley fire, into a series of scenario exercises".
"This process will incorporate the lived experiences of of emergency personnel who filled roles in the Incident Management Team and in the frontline roles," he said.
"By sharing their personal experiences, post-fire season reflections and incident management processes, emergency service members will further enhance their experience and decision making skills.
"We will incorporate scenarios from past operational events and the comprehensive lived experience of our members, into future exercising and training activities to further strengthen the agency's annual cycle of hazard preparedness and incident response".
The ESA spokesman said that Ms Whelan had invited ACT Bushfire Council members to participate in the program.
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