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Friday, 10 October 2014 00:00

Joint Training Committee - 2 Minute Briefing August 2014

Issue 10: August 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 10/08/14)

PHASED BA COMPETENCY ENDORSED BY CHIEF OFFICER

After long delays, the Committee has been advised that the Chief Officer has now endorsed the proposal for phased Breathing Apparatus (BA) competencies. Essentially, this means that there will now be two levels of BA training & competency. Level 1 will be for training on BA for external fire attack such as car fires, bin fires and haystacks. Level 2 will incorporate search and rescue aspects and internal structural attack scenarios. Work is now underway to establish suitable BA training and assessment packages and processes. A pilot is also underway in District 13 to trial different helmet markings that will be used to denote the two different levels of BA competency a member holds.

DRIVER TRAINING / HEAVY VEHICLE LICENCE TESTING

Work continues on the selection of approved licence testing providers for CFA members to attain heavy vehicle licenses. CFA is currently negotiating with VicRoads as to exemptions to cover training aspects which are delivered internal to CFA members being recognized by VicRoads for license testing purposes, such as the “Drive Operation Vehicles” package. VFBV has also requested CFA review the budgetary arrangements and District inconsistencies with members getting access to CFA funded heavy vehicle licence testing. Given the cost of heavy vehicle license testing to an individual can be hundreds of dollars, VFBV has requested CFA review the “one strike and you’re out” policy that is in effect in some Districts, which see volunteers having to pay for any subsequent testing themselves, should they fail their initial assessment. The Committee has requested CFA replace it with a discretionary policy which could review cases on their merits and support members in the attainment of a licence for the benefit of the Brigade.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY AWARENESS – NEW REFERENCE MANUAL

The new Electrical Safety Awareness Reference Manual has now been completed, and is available for ordering through your District Office or through Training Materials Online. The manual provides basic awareness to identify electrical hazards at incidents and how to minimize risk and avoid injury. The manual includes information on solar power.

WORKING WITH LADDERS – NEW REFERENCE MANUAL

Working with Ladders Reference Manual is now available on Training Materials Online. Copies have also been distributed to District Training departments. This reference manual is designed to provide information on the safe use of portable ladders during both operational and non-operational activities.

ATMOSPHERIC MONITORING

The Committee has requested CFA review its training strategy involving atmospheric monitoring equipment. This follows complaints from some members who have been told that they must complete the Monitor Hazardous Atmospheres course in order to use a handheld monitor such as the LD322’s. The Committees view is that there should be a basic awareness package aimed at “operator status” in order for firefighters to easily deploy & use the equipment during incidents, with higher level training for those expected to interpret the readings or results of the monitoring equipment.

WHO CAN TRAIN AND ASSESS?

At the Committee’s request, CFA has agreed to re-establish the CFA Training Ground User Reference Groups. CFA have committed to re-establishing these important groups by 31 December this year to all 8 Training Grounds. The Committee commends this decision and will continue to enthusiastically monitor their progress.

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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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