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Operations Committee

Operations Committee (21)

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:49

2 Minute Briefing - Operations

Issue 16: December 2016

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting. (Meeting held 27/11/2016). Unfortunately, delegates were advised a few days before the meeting that the Chief Officer was not available to meet, so the Committee decided instead of cancelling the meeting, they would simply meet without CFA.

ROLE OF GROUP

Having waited since 2012 for the most recent CFA review to strengthen the role of group, the Committee notes with disappointment the lack of progress or CFA leadership in the intervening time. Having lost confidence with CFA’s lack of response or support to this review, the Committee has endorsed a proposal for a volunteer led review of the Role of Group, with the intent to meet and gather feedback from all Groups across the State in order to arrive at a formal position that volunteers can then lead and advocate for across the Sector. This work will commence after the FDP and we will be seeking representatives from all Districts to help lead and coordinate a ground up discussion and review during 2017, with a view of driving this important reform. We will be using all the feedback received from CFA’s previous review as well as discussing the countless ideas and suggestions that arose from discussion during the last review but may have been rejected by CFA at the time for one reason or another.

In the previous review, VFBV advocated for;

  • Greater support and recognition from CFA to Groups and the Group structures in local command and control
  • Greater flexibility in how Groups can structure themselves to accommodate and respect local and regional differences and flexibility to match operating models to local risks. A ‘one size fits all’ model is not supported.
  • Strengthening the chain of command to empower and enhance the capability and capacity for local command and control being exercised by CFA members at the local level ensuring that local participation continues as incidents grow in size and complexity
  • Systems of work that recognize and enhance how Brigades, Groups, OO’s and RDO’s interact and support each other in Operational Readiness & Response, Training & Mentoring and Community Education
  • Strengthening the role of Groups in assisting Brigades building local capability for Incident Management and volunteer upskilling and mentoring for Level 2 and 3 incident management roles
  • Greater support and recognition of the important role of Group Comms including role, systems and processes in supporting local incidents and deployments and recognition in CAD processes and procedures of this vital role
  • Greater support and recognition of the important role Groups play in readiness, pre-incident planning & coordination, strike team resourcing & deployment, maintaining situational awareness and training delivery

All members will be provided an opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts, and VFBV will provide leadership, logistical and administrative support to allow local groups and districts to participate in structured discussions and share the information coming from neighbouring groups and districts across the State. If you would like to be involved in the early stages of the project, please contact VFBV at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (03) 9886 1141 and we will record your details.

40km SPEED LIMITS

VFBV continues to support and advocate for a 40km speed limit for vehicles passing a stationary emergency service vehicle displaying their red and blue flashing lights.

VFBV’s long stated position has been that firefighters working alongside roads and highways when attending to incidents, are put at a significant health & safety risk by passing motorists, and 40km speed limits similar to those for road side workers should be pursued, along with strong public education campaigns to educate motorists of the dangers. The Committee continues to advocate for the establishment of new road rules that will protect all emergency service personnel when working on the side of roads and highways.

 

Friday, 05 February 2016 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Operations

Issue 15: December 2015

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 29/11/2015)

ROLE OF GROUP The committee was advised that the new Chief Officer has requested that the Role of Group publication that was due to be distributed to brigades be put on hold whilst he conducts a review. The committee has been provided with a much condensed version for feedback. Whilst members will no doubt be disappointed with yet another delay, the committee will work with the new Chief Officer to try and resolve the current impasse affecting this long delayed project.

SECTOR COMMANDER COURSE

The Sector Commander course was developed by the IMTTP team and originally released for delivery in 2014. The course was written with the assumption that a student undertaking the course has no prior knowledge of the subject matter. Feedback from students is that the course is quite lengthy and duplicates material that is covered in earlier courses such as crew leader. Exacerbating the problem, there were restrictive pre-requisites to undertake the course. CFA has decided to conduct a full review of the course, with the State Incident Management Training Delivery Project Steering Committee to oversee the course review.

The committee has highlighted to CFA that the course was originally designed to be delivered in unique modules, yet all CFA delivery to date has been to deliver all modules consecutively which has frustrated students, and led to courses running over consecutive 3 or 4 full weekends, causing understandable member backlash. CFA has agreed to rework and rewrite the course, with the intent to break the course into four distinct modules, with duplication to be removed. This will assist members who may already hold existing units that can be mapped to parts of the new course and allow members to undertake just those parts they do not currently hold. A reworked assessment will ensure all members exit the course with standardized learning outcomes. It is anticipated that this may reduce the Sector Commander course to one night and 2 days. Piloting of the new course is anticipated early in 2016.

FATIGUE MANAGEMENT

The Committee has for some time been reporting the District and Regional variances in how fatigue management is implemented, especially for larger incidents. Examples of two neighbouring districts implementing completely different fatigue guidelines for strike teams dispatched to the same job provided a case study of the issue. The Committee has requested state-wide guidelines be developed and communicated to the field which amongst other things outline crew changeovers, appropriate rest periods between deployments and long haul strike team travel arrangements, including the use of coaches and/or fresh drivers to return appliances to their home locations.

VOLUNTEER UTILISATION IN IMTs

The committee has reinforced the need for proactive and deliberate action to be taken to encourage, and strengthen the use of volunteers in IMTs. The critical importance of planning and the effects of poor or last minute planning on volunteer utilisation are well known and the committee has requested that the Chief Officer lead this work amongst the agencies this fire season. The view amongst some senior leaders over previous seasons has been that there is very little volunteer interest, yet discussions with the field constantly highlight not only high interest, but that many volunteers were either unaware of any requests or only requested on extremely short notice (sometimes with less than four hours’ notice) which makes it difficult for them to arrange availability with their employer. Short notice also ignores that many volunteers qualified in IMT roles will commit to other Brigade or District roles in the absence of any request for their services in IMT roles. The committee has requested a robust system be developed to ensure transparency and accountability is maintained in requests for resources, including sufficient planning and flexibility that supports volunteer participation.

Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Operations

Issue 14: October 2015

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 28/06/15)

 

ROLE OF GROUP

The Chief Officer advised that he received advice from an internal working group whom he had tasked with reviewing the Role of Group booklet with a recommendation that distribution proceed.

The Chief has accepted this recommendation, and advises that the Role of Group publication will now be distributed to brigades and groups with a cover letter highlighting the sections of legislation that have changed since the publication was printed.

With the importance of local knowledge at the forefront, the Committee reinforced the need for there to be focussed attention on strengthening the role of groups and building what capability may have been unintentionally lost from the past. The Chief has requested that CFA start preparing briefing and support documents to assist with the dissemination over the next 3 to 4 months.

0.00 BLOOD ALCOHOL FOR CODE 1 EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRIVING

The Chief Officer is writing to DPCs to seek advice on what brigade impacts would arise from the proposed 0.00 BAC policy for code 1 driving.

The Committee has requested the Chief Officer prepare a volunteer impact assessment on the policy to identify the impacts the policy would have on what is effectively a 24/7 on call workforce. The Committee notes advice that VicPol have their own existing arrangements, flexibility and exemptions to cater for Police members who are off duty and recalled, as well as some on call units and have asked for CFA to investigate options for their inclusion in CFA’s proposed policies.

Members are requested to advise your DPC representatives of your brigade’s views and/or impacts so that discussion at the DPC level are informed of grass root feedback and views.

LOW VOLTAGE FUSE REMOVAL

The Chief Officer has supported the re-introduction of Low Voltage Fuse Removal (LVFR) as a core CFA activity supported by adequate funding and training programs.

There has been an ongoing demand from the field to continue this training as it is seen as a vital skill for brigades, particularly for those brigades who are remote from services provided by the electricity suppliers. The Committee has long advocated this position which has largely been driven by the safety considerations of creating a safer work environment for our firefighters by removing the low voltage fuse. To this end, the Chief Officer has proposed an extension to members who currently hold Low Voltage Fuse Removal competencies to ensure members remain current whilst an updated LVFR training package is being finalized, and refresher training programs are rolled out.

The Chief will shortly be writing to OMs and OOs with details of the program and his approval of extension for current competencies.

COMPOSITE STRIKE TEAMS

The Chief has supported the Committee’s request for 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 and 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 Chief has indicated he intends to make it 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.

 

Monday, 14 September 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Joint Operations Committee

Issue 13: July 2015

A quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 28/06/15)

EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE (EMR)

The Committee received an update on the proposed expansion of EMR within CFA. Whilst the Government’s $5 million dollar announcement to expand EMR to CFA’s 33 integrated brigades is welcome, the committee expressed its disappointment that funding was only provided for those locations. Considering Ambulance Victoria nominated 32 high priority locations for inclusion in year 1 of expansion of EMR services, and that 12 of those 32 priority locations are communities served by fully volunteer Brigades, the committee has requested CFA continue to advocate for EMR’s expansion to more volunteer brigades.

The Committee has also expressed alarm that the $5M funding provided for the expansion appears to be significantly less than what CFA has estimated it will actually cost to roll-out to the integrated locations, and the Committee has requested clarification from CFA on if there is a funding shortfall – where will the money be diverted from to finish the rollout.

Delegates have also sought CFA’s assurance that any expansion of EMR to CFA integrated locations will also be inclusive of volunteers and provide them the opportunity to be involved should they wish, consistent with CFA’s existing service delivery model with services being delivered in a fully integrated manner.

VOLUNTEER UTILIZATION IN IMTs AND SPECIALIST RESPONSE

The Chief Officer has recommitted to investigating what more can be done to provide opportunities for volunteers to train in specialist response and Incident Management Team roles.

CFA has agreed to report on current numbers of volunteers trained in these roles, and how often they have actually been used. Given the significant time impost volunteers give to gain these competencies not only in acquisition but also in skills maintenance, it is imperative that members be provided more proactive opportunities to actually use those skills, and not simply overlooked as current systems and processes inevitably do.

The Chief will shortly be writing to all District Planning Committees to ascertain from OM’s and senior volunteers what current opportunities are in place for volunteers to gain & use these skills, and investigate any barriers or disincentives with a view to removing or fixing them.

ROLE OF GROUP

Members will be relieved to learn that the Chief Officer has assured the Committee he remains committed to completing the role of group review, and has re-affirmed his support and desire to see the work & progress which has been undertaken over the last couple of years, finished.

Whilst acknowledging minor issues with changes of legislation that were referred to in the current role of group publication, that has not yet been distributed, his view is that these were only minor and he still supported all key aspects of the review. The Committee was advised that an update to the publication was being reviewed, and he would meet with the working party to progress ASAP.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

The Committee was delighted that the Chief Officer resumed his role as Chair of this Committee, and has committed to chairing the committee from here on in, with all his Deputy Chief Officers also in attendance to provide the Committee much greater support and prominence.

A review of the Committee’s terms of reference is currently underway to support these changes, and the Committee expressed its appreciation for the Chiefs renewed support and enthusiasm. As one of the key bodies to provide the Chief Officer with formal input and advice direct from volunteers, the Committee is seen as a vital link between CFA and VFBV in exercising CFA’s obligations to volunteers under the volunteer charter.

Issue 12: April 2015

A quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV.

SERVICE DELIVERY STRATEGY 2015 - 2020

The Committee received an update on the progress of consultation of the CFA Service Delivery Strategy being conducted by CFA’s Fire & Emergency Management directorate.

The Service Delivery Strategy will drive CFA efforts to make changes to support local people to solve local problems, and its intent is to focus on public safety at CFA’s core. The strategy is a clear mandate for every member of CFA to take a role in service delivery, whether through the delivery of services directly to the community, or the provision of support services to frontline members.

The Service Delivery Strategy identifies four strategic objectives. These are explained as comprising the major focus areas to lead the change required to build an agile, service focussed organisation, and are; Empowering & sustaining the frontline | Transforming service delivery to meet local needs | Working with communities | Strengthening relationships through collaboration.

Members are encouraged to engage in the consultation sessions occurring throughout the State, and/or speak with your OO or OM on how you can be involved. A copy of the Draft Strategy is available from the CFA website, Brigades Online.

OBSERVATION SHARING CENTRE

Have you observed any problems, shortfalls or successes that you would like to share? Do you have a lesson to share, so others can learn? Your lesson could be a success, a way of doing things in a more efficient or safer way, a close call... anything others could learn from.

Members are reminded that there is an online sharing tool designed to capture member feedback. It is designed so members do not have to wait for an official or formal debrief process in order to capture or submit observations about things that worked well or didn’t work well at an incident, deployment, or campaign fire.

Members are strongly encouraged to use this tool to raise issues experienced with deployments or strike team duties. You can access it from Brigades Online by searching for “Observation sharing centre”.

VOLUNTEER ACCESS TO IMT TRAINING COURSES

The Committee continues to advocate on the need for CFA to better support and encourage volunteer access to IMT training courses. A report to the Committee indicates that throughout 2014 there were 92 IMT course/activities, of which 32 were formal IMT training courses. Over that same period, the report shows only 81 volunteers completed and graduated from one of the 13 Incident Management Common Training Packages. The Committee has requested the reporting of IMT training to be a standing item, and has requested renewed effort to help identify greater and more reasonable opportunities for volunteers to access this training.

ROLE OF GROUP UPDATE

The Committee was disappointed to learn that CFA was not intending to distribute the printed copies of last year’s Role of Group handbook that was produced and developed from the Role of Group Review. The Committee was advised that whilst the books had been printed and were ready for distribution, that CFA no longer supports aspects of the document. The Role of Group Working Party has requested an urgent meeting with the Chief Officer to understand what has changed, the reasons behind those changes and why it is no longer supported.

Issue 11: December 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 30/11/14)

ISSUES STOCKTAKE

There will not be a 2 Minute Briefing for the Operations committee this issue.

Following expressions of frustration and disappointment by all committee delegates on the lack of progress and engagement on the issues raised by volunteer delegates for action, the committee requested that the Chief Officer or his delegate sit down with the committee to consolidate and agree on all outstanding actions, and provide clear accountability and timelines to be used going forward.

The parties went through the complete list of outstanding action items, closed a number of topics and created new more appropriate actions for dated outstanding actions.

The committee thanks DCO Warrington for his leadership, candour and enthusiasm to engage with the committee during this process, and getting the actions back on track and committing to an action plan for the following year.

The committee looks forward to a more productive 2015.    

 

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 31/08/14)

VOLUNTEER UTILISATION IN IMTs

The Committee again discussed its concerns surrounding the underutilization of Volunteers within IMT’s, and the barriers that are preventing Volunteers involvement. Practical examples like long shift deployments of 7 and 14 days, and short notice (night before) for deployments makes it almost impossible for Volunteers to negotiate with their employers. The Committee has also voiced its concerns about perceived cherry picking of roles, with Volunteers only used to fill gaps.

Disappointingly, CFA have advised that the HCMS system that was planned to be online for this fire season would not be ready. This system would have assisted with the scheduling and tracking of member availability over the FDP.

The Committee has requested the Chief Officer form a clear intent statement for the use of Volunteers within IMT’s and encourage and promote the flexibilities required to maximize their involvement. The Committee has also requested that CFA write to the Emergency Management Commissioner requesting he also take steps to encourage, maintain and strengthen the utilization of Volunteers in all multi-agency endeavours.

LOW VOLTAGE FUSE REMOVAL

The Committee has escalated the issue of Low Voltage Fuse Removal training, after being advised by the Joint Training Committee that they were still waiting for Chief Officer’s endorsement. VFBV first raised this issue in 2008, and has been seeking operational support and priority for members to be trained in low voltage fuse removal for all structural brigades in order to ensure the safety of crews during first attack. Long delays by power companies attending incidents continues to acerbate the issue.

The Committee has warned that after years of inaction, and delays in an approved package being delivered, swathes of members currently qualified in low voltage fuse removal, are facing the expiry of their qualifications, and no pathway for reaccreditation. The Committee is seeking an urgent decision by the Chief Officer.

HEAVY PUMPER AND SPECIALIST APPLIANCE INCREMENTS

CFA has agreed to investigate why so few Volunteers have been trained and endorsed for specialist appliances. The problem is most acute at integrated locations, where even the number of Volunteers endorsed to operate Heavy Pumpers (which is not a piece of specialist equipment) is extremely low, yet at Volunteer Brigades with Heavy Pumpers there are very high numbers of members trained. CFA has an obligation under the CFA Act to encourage and support Volunteers to deliver all its services, yet there does not appear to be any measures or KPI’s in place to monitor how well it does that. The Committee has received reports from many Volunteers over the last 12 months who have described the barriers that appear to be preventing Volunteers gaining endorsement on specialist appliances. Whilst an opportunity to train is one thing, the Committee has also stressed the need for there to be affirmative action plans to have Volunteers use that equipment, to address the chicken and egg analogy of why someone would want to be trained on something that they never get to use. The Committee is hoping to see a renewed focus with the introduction of ACO’s.

REVERSE SECTION 29 PILOT EXTENDED

The reverse Section 29 Pilot has been relaunched, with an online option to be provided to Brigades during the trial period that commenced 9 July 2014. The trial has now been extended to 30 June 2015. Any Brigades wishing to complete the “reverse section 29” can do so, simply ask your Operations Officer or Operations Manager to send you the link. The reverse S29 provides Brigades an opportunity to provide feedback to CFA to capture key viability challenges faced by Brigades.

Operations

2 Minute Briefing

Issue 9: May 2014

POST FIRE DANGER PERIOD REVIEW 2013/14

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.

SEASON OVERVIEW

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.

COMPOSITE STRIKE TEAMS & VOLUNTEERS PERFORMING DIV/SECTOR COMMANDER ROLES

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.

Operations

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV.
Due to Operational Activity, this Joint Committee Meeting was cancelled & did not go ahead.
The following issues have been pursed out of session over the Fire Season. More detailed information will be available after April’s State Council meeting.

2013/14 SEASON DEBRIEFS

The CFA Chief Officer has written to VFBV to address our concerns about inadequate opportunities for Volunteers at Brigade and local levels in particular, to be involved in previous years post season reviews.

The Chief Officer has written to all Operations Managers, expressing his intent that they be responsible in the first instance to develop a process in each of their Districts, that caters for inputs from brigades and individual members in this year’s post season review.

Last year’s review was largely silent on items that many front-line Volunteers constantly raise as important to them, due mainly to very few opportunities for Volunteers to be involved in post season review workshops that were held during weekdays and during normal business hours.

VFBV encourages all members who think they have something to contribute to this year’s post season review, including lessons learned at the local levels, to contact their Operations Manager to find out what opportunities have been scheduled for them to be involved in.

VFBV representatives are also meeting with the Fire Services Commissioner to provide input and suggestions on what measures the FSC can take to encourage & support increased Volunteer participation in this years review.

VOLUNTEER UTILISATION IN IMTs

In late January 2014, VFBV started receiving wide ranging reports from many Volunteers qualified and endorsed for senior IMT roles, who were reporting that no opportunities were being provided for them to provide their services.

On the 29th January, following advice that CFA was reporting that the demand for IMT personnel was starting to exceed available resources, and they were at capacity & seeking interstate resources, VFBV requested the Fire Services Commissioner establish a transparent resource utilization tracking process to assure himself that all available resources had in fact been utilised.


Initial results from that review, showed a high incidence of personnel who had not yet been used, and confirmed Volunteer reports that there appeared to be no systemic or centralized system that proactively sought their availability ahead of time, to plan for projected demands. On the 30th January, CFA was instructed to proactively utilise each District’s IMT resource list, and manage IMT resources on a rolling 14 day resource plan for the next 6 weeks. All personnel on the IMT resource lists were to be contacted to advise of their availability.

VFBV will be following up with the FSC and the CFA Chief Officer to ensure those barriers that were identified such as Volunteers being overlooked or “designed out” byway of unreasonable shift lengths (such as 7 day shifts) or short notice requests for same day or next deployments are addressed for next season.

Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:15

JOINT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE - 2 MINUTE BRIEFING

Operations

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing 

Issue 7, November 2013

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 10/11/2013)

MEETING WITH FIRE SERVICES COMMISSIONER

The Committee met with Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley on the 18th September to progress discussions around Operational doctrine at the State Level. From that meeting, an action plan is being developed to progress actions around the following key themes that were discussed;

• Incident Management   • Pre formed IMT’s   • Resource Management   • Rostering Systems  
• De briefing process & systems   • Volunteer Utilisation at every level of Incident management  
• Volunteer awareness training for Agency Personnel operating in Multi Agency Environments

A letter of thanks was received from Craig on the 8th November, thanking the delegates for their valued input. The committee looks forwards to progressing this important work with Craig in his new role as Victoria’s inaugural Emergency Management Commissioner Designate throughout 2014.

ROLE OF GROUP

The Committee wrote to the Chief Officer in June of this year expressing its concern with the perceived lack of progress in his review into the role of group, and requesting a Communications and Action plan be developed so that brigades & members could clearly understand where this review is at, and what the next steps are.  Deputy Chief Officer Alan Ellis who attended the November meeting of the Committee has agreed to meet with the Working Party (which last met in November 2012) sometime in December, so as to progress feedback received from Districts during the review period. At this stage, the committee is not aware of any final decisions being made as to the role of group review, and is advocating the need for all feedback received from Districts, Groups & Brigades during the review period to be fully studied by the Working Party, and for acknowledgment of that feedback to be provided to any brigade, group or member who has submitted feedback, with a response as to how their feedback has been considered. Members frequently commit a great deal of time, energy and effort to providing written and detailed submissions, and the Committee is strongly supportive of the need to ensure CFA acknowledges this feedback, and provides a response back that explains how their feedback/submission has been dealt with.    

ELECTRICAL SAFETY ADVISORY GROUP

Since 2008, the Committee has been strongly advocating for the need for CFA to review its policies around the provision and priority of low voltage fuse removal training and tools for structural brigades in order to ensure safety of crews during the initial stages of first attack.  The Chief Officer has now approved the formation of a CFA Electrical Safety Advisory Group that will be made up of subject matter experts, operational and volunteer representation to provide advice to CFA on a arrange of matters involving electricity. Operations Manager of Structural Planning - Ross Sullivan will be facilitating this group, with final terms of Reference hoping to be finalised this year.

SLOW PROGRESS

Unfortunately planned updates that the Committee had requested on Utilization of Volunteers in IMT’s, Multi Agency Liaisons to State All Hazard Committee’s, CFA Regulations Review, CFA Discipline Process Review,  2012/13 Pre-Season Briefing Schedules,  and 2013/14 Season Debrief planning was unable to be significantly progressed by the CFA representatives to the Committee. VFBV delegates continue to encourage CFA to proactively engage and support the Committee in progressing these important items and will continue to seek stronger focus & attention and working collaboratively with the committee to achieve meaningful and practical improvements in these key areas of interest to Volunteers.

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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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