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Friday, 15 August 2014 00:00

Joint Operations Committee - 2 Minute Briefing May 2014


2 Minute Briefing

Issue 9: May 2014


On the 8th April the Fire Services Commissioner released a Guidance & Conduct paper for this season’s Post Fire Danger period review. The document outlines the approach and expectations for conducting reviews to capture learning's from the 2013/14 fire season. The CFA Chief Officer advised Operations Managers that they will be responsible, in the first instance, to develop a process that caters for inputs from brigades and individual members. Districts were instructed that the Post FDP Review Timelines were to commence on the 7th April, with final results from debriefs and other related processes due no later than 6th June, in order for the final report to be considered by the FSC and Chief Officers by 15 June

Last year, the committee raised its concerns that, at a local and brigade level, there was insufficient opportunity for volunteers and front line personnel to provide input into lessons learned. The committee has been assured by CFA that processes would be improved this year to ensure opportunities are given.

VFBV encourages any members who don’t believe they have been provided an opportunity by their District to attend or participate in an After Action Review, or Post Fire Danger Period debrief before the June 5th closing date, to contact your Operations Manager in the first instance, and advise your local VFBV State Councillor of your concerns. The committee has requested CFA table each Districts review activities so we can monitor the effectiveness of local initiatives and identify any gaps.


The committee reviewed an overview of the season just past, in order to identify early priorities and areas for improvement. Generally speaking, the increased emphasis on aircraft this season appears to have worked well, and backs up the results from the trials conducted in the 2012/13 Fire Season that the committee reviewed.

The committee has long been encouraging CFA to improve the integration of lessons learned from each season, into pre-season briefings and incident debriefs. Work is currently underway to better formalize the capturing of lessons learned, and VFBV has requested an increased emphasis on case studies and tutes that are based on actual incidents, which will improve the sharing of knowledge throughout the organisation.

CFA acknowledged that the existing resource systems struggled to meet the challenge presented by Hazelwood, and that the utilisation of volunteers was again an issue. The committee has agreed to continue to monitor and assist CFA identify the systemic issues that are continuing to prevent the effective utilisation of volunteers. There was an acknowledgment by all that culture plays a critical role, and culture change will need to be a long term goal.


The committee have identified a number of key actions they would like to see significant progress on this year. One such item is to request the Chief Officer issue an “Intent Statement” and guiding principles for those occasions that involve the integration of staff and Volunteers. Two constant recurring issues that are raised each year has been different local interpretations of crewing requirements of Strike Teams, and the use of Volunteers in Division & Sector Command roles when crews are made up of both Volunteers and staff. The use of AIIMS within CFA makes “Rank” completely invisible, yet local interpretation and practices frequently try to assert rank and pay status back into arrangements, that are contrary to the principles outlined in the Chief Officer’s Capstone and Service Delivery Principles. The committee hope to work with the Chief for it to be made very clear how integrated teams will work and integrate at all levels of the organisation, and the responsibility of management and key leaders to promote an inclusive working environment.

Read 16851 times Last modified on Friday, 15 August 2014 14:28
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.


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