The need for emergency service support sessions has grown so much they need to be relocated to accommodate demand, as the road toll continues to hit volunteer groups.
Members of the Country Fire Authority, which numerically attend more road trauma incidents than bushfires, is at the forefront of the issue.
One volunteer firefighter awareness session for responding to motor vehicle accidents and related mental health issues, originally organised for CFA members at Kingston Fire Brigade, was attended by more than 40 firefighters from five different brigades on Tuesday night.
Within hours of the session there was another death in the region, the second in a week, with the latest road fatality occurring at Coomoora early on Wednesday morning.
While local firefighters are responding to an increasing number of accidents, Kingston Fire Brigade Captain Robt Haughie said it was important to provide training so that firefighters were equipped to respond efficiently, in a way that does not affect their mental health.
Of the almost 100 calls the brigade responded to last calendar year, many were road accidents. This included a tragic crash at Kingston on December 29, in which a mother, five-year-old boy and their pet dog were killed.
While 15 people have died on roads across the state so far this year, two of those have occurred within the Hepburn region. The road toll so far this year is already exceeding that of last January and 2019 was the worst death total since 2016.
When you join the CFA you are primarily trained for scrub, grass, bush and structure fires but it's important we are trained to know how to pre-plan and respond to motor vehicle accidents too.Robt Haughie
"It's very different when you are responding to an incident involving possible persons trapped so we need to make sure we are prepared physically and mentally."
Mr Haughie said the strong attendance at the event proved the CFA was responding to supporting its volunteers in relation to mental health issues, while the volunteers themselves also recognised a need for further training.
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He hopes similar training sessions can be included in the CFA training calendar going forward.
"We are constantly trying to maintain and upgrade our skills to make sure our service delivery is exactly what the community expects from us," he said.
Kingston brigade hosted a similar event last May, at which CFA firefighters discussed the issues surrounding motor vehicle accidents and traffic management with the State Emergency Service, Daylesford Rescue, Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police.
Just hours after the session was hosted, another person was killed on the region's roads.
About 1.30am on Wednesday a man was killed in a single vehicle accident at Coomoora, near Daylesford.
Police believe the man lost control of his vehicle on Ellis Road before hitting a tree. Emergency services attended the incident but the man was unable to be revived.
Last week a person was killed after losing control of their vehicle on the Clunes-Mount Cameron Road at Mount Cameron. The vehicle smashed through a fence and then caught fire.
Ballarat Highway Patrol's Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale urged drivers to take care on the roads.
The 19 highway patrol officers which form the Moorabool and Ballarat Highway Patrol units have responded to more than 20 road accident fatalities in the last year.
With each incident often requiring multiple officers to respond, each officer has responded to a number of fatality collisions, in addition to serious injury collisions. And that is just the numbers for the highway patrol, with uniform officers also required to respond to incidents from time to time.
With changes in weather, Acting Senior Sergeant Gale urged people to drive to the conditions and to be aware that many trees were falling on to the region's roads.
He said fatigue, distraction and speed were the biggest contributors to road trauma in this region and so urged drivers to drive to the conditions, to plan trips, not to rush, to take regular breaks and not to drive when normally asleep.
He also encouraged drivers to assess a road while driving and reduce their speed as appropriate, especially on unmarked and unsealed roads.
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