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Community Safety Committee

Community Safety Committee (16)

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:53

2 Minute Briefing - Community Safety

Issue 16: December 2016

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 26/11/2016)

PLANNED BURNING AND BUILDING BRIGADE CAPABILITIES

For many years now VFBV has been advocating for a more holistic approach to planned burning, and for CFA to promote the training advantages of participating in planned burns.

The committee has been very pleased to observe that recent planned burns have developed into exercises, not just in fire behaviour and fuel load interactions but also extend to learnings in weather behaviour, impact on flora and fauna, bush heritage and Indigenous fire management practices.

The camps are very practical ‘hands on’ for all involved, each participant is specifically tasked with both coaching and mentoring roles, allowing involvement by volunteers across all aspects of the planned burning. Recent burn camps also saw attendances from Traditional Owners, Trust for Nature (landowners) bird scientists, along with DWELP, plantation owners and CFA paid staff.

The attendees worked well together and contributed experience and expertise, building valuable relationships and creating an atmosphere of co-operation in complex burn scenarios. These camps offer a great opportunity for volunteers to train in realistic settings and gain extensive fire firefighting experience.

The committee has requested CFA produce a brochure which clearly explains and illustrates upcoming Burn Camps to Brigades.

CFA-SES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND HAZARD AWARENESS FORUM

The joint CFA-SES community engagement forum was held at The Mantra in Lorne on 6th & 7th August, 2016.

The Forum is Victoria’s leading community safety conference for emergency service personnel and an opportunity for members to hear from both front line community safety educators but also leading community engagement specialists.

As well as the usual guest speakers, sessions and presentations, there were also outdoor displays by Coast Guard, CFA and SES, which were a resounding success. This year there were 481 attendees, 70% of those were CFA, 20% SES, this is a dramatic rise from 140 at the first forum in 2011. Volunteers from the North East and South East were very well represented with 65% of attendees coming from these two regions. The forum is growing in popularity and size.

The Committee will be reviewing the feedback provided by this year’s attendee’s and supports the continuation of this important forum. VFBV would like to recognize and congratulate the hard working members of the Volunteer Reference Group whose tireless energy and work helped to make this year’s event another resounding success.

THE FIRE SAFETY PLEDGE

Building on the success of last year’s campaign, CFA launched The Fire Safety Pledge to run between 3 November and 22 December.

Brigades are offered the chance to win one of three $1,000 cash prizes by encouraging members of their community to take the online “Fire Safety Pledge” at www.thefiresafetypledge.com.au

When members of the public make their pledge, they are asked to enter a local CFA brigade they wish to support. At the end of the competition, the brigade with the most number of pledges across the three different categories, will receive a cash prize of $1,000.

The categories are

1. Overall winner (brigade with the most votes)

2. Per-Capita – CFA brigade with the most votes relative to their population, and

3. Tiny Town – for brigades serving a population of less than 100 people.

As at 23 November (just three weeks into the initiative) 6,793 people have taken the pledge.

Any member of the public that takes the pledge will go into a draw to win one of four Samsung Galaxy Tablets or one of four $100 Bunning Gift Vouchers.

The friendly competition within Districts has begun with steep competition amongst seven of the top ten positions. Good Luck…..

BUSHFIRE HOTLINE NUMBER CHANGED

Delegates reported to CFA they have received complaints and concerns from the community surrounding the change of the VicEmergency Hotline number from 1800 240 667 to 1800 226 226. The committee has requested that both numbers continue to work until people get used to the change. CFA advice is both numbers will continue for some time.

Friday, 05 February 2016 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Community Safety

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 28/11/2015)

FIRE SAFETY PLEDGE The committee discussed the resounding success of the inaugural Fire Safety Pledge. The Pledge ran for 8 weeks from October 8th to December 3rd. Between 1000 and 1500 people visited the webpage each day. Over the course of the campaign, almost 13,000 Victorians had visited the site and chosen to take the pledge. This was an innovative approach to enabling the community to commit to improved personal fire safety. As part of the pledge, there was a Brigade competition element where people taking the pledge could nominate the Brigade they wished to support, therefore creating a connection between them and their Brigade. Point Cook, Parwan and Dartmouth have taken out the Brigade prizes. The committee supports this initiative and the running of the fire safety pledge in coming years.

CFA IS A HIGHLY TRUSTED & RESPECTED EMERGENCY SERVICE

The results from this year’s market research is in, with 94% of respondents considering CFA to be a highly trusted and respected emergency service. In its second year, this year’s quantitative research was conducted by computer assisted telephone interviewing which was completed by 2,503 Victorians aged 18 and above, with minimum quotas based on ABS 2011 figures on age and gender obtained, providing a very robust sample size. The survey is designed to address several key research questions including; what people feel are the most important CFA services, what are people’s expectations of CFA and CFA key services and what are people’s perceptions of current service delivery. In total, 14 service areas were measured, and pleasingly all were seen as performing well, with the top ranked being fighting bushfires and grassfires (95%) and fighting house and building fires (92%). Reinforcing the high impact CFA’s volunteer and community based model has on its community, 82% of respondents rated they had a high level of ‘connectedness’ with CFA.

WINDROWS There was robust discussion from the committee around the need for better education of property owners who burn off on their properties with stubble burns etc. but also those who construct and burn windrows. The discussion included the inherent problems of long duration burns and the inability of many property owners to plan for or mitigate these long burns when fire danger ratings change from day to day. Alarmingly, many property owners are not aware of the substantial penalties which exist under the Summary Offences Act, which could apply to residents whose fires do not comply with their permit. Fines of as much as $18,000 can be issued and there are reports of police showing ‘zero’ tolerance in some areas. The committee has stressed the need for property owners to be advised of the risks and assisted/supported to administer their burns safely and legally to avoid fines. The committee suggested an awareness campaign be launched to address these and other issues with a request for a new “Think Before you Burn” brochure. The committee has agreed to further workshop these ideas at its April 2016 meeting, and encourages members to discuss their concerns or suggestions with VFBV District Councils so it can be passed onto committee members for consideration.

TYRE STOCKPILING

In 2012-13 almost 50,000 tonnes of waste tyres (around six million car tyres) were stockpiled or dumped in Victoria. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has introduced new legal requirements for storing waste tyres. Existing and new sites that store more than 40 tonnes (or 5,000 equivalent passenger units (EPU) of whole tyres) at any time, need an EPA works approval before they are built or modified, as well as an EPA licence to operate. Be aware that 5,000 EPU represents about 5,000 car tyres, 10,000 motorcycle tyres, 1,000 truck tyres or a mix of tyres that equates to 5,000 EPU. If your Brigade turns out to an incident at a site that is stockpiling more than 5,000 (EPU) please ensure the incident is reported through FIRS and the chain of command. If Brigades have identified stockpiling sites or require more information, contact Matt Allen (Dangerous Goods Unit) on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 5240 2713.

Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Community Safety

Issue 14: October 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 5/9/15)

 

VEGETATION CLEARING TOOL

The committee discussed and reviewed the introduction of the ‘Vegetation Clearing Tool’. This tool will be available online at CFA, accessible by the public, to assist with questions about vegetation clearance around domestic properties. The tool will offer clear explanations of the 10.30 and 10.50 rule.

The tool offers a simple step by step process which asks for the postcode, which then identifies the municipality. The next questions identify when the dwelling was built and if it is a replacement dwelling etc. Once this information has been entered, the tool identifies which rule applies, whether a permit is required and what vegetation can be cleared. It is a very user friendly, self-explanatory aid for the public. You can access the tool at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/vegetation-clearing-tool/

COMMUNITY SAFETY COORDINATOR SURVEY

In order to support members recently voted into Community Safety Coordinator positions, the committee has requested CFA conduct a survey to ascertain from those members, what the transition to this role has involved.

The survey will ask what the challenges were and what the opportunities were? We will be looking to identify what has worked and what has not worked. Also, we will be seeking feedback as to what additional support members in this role would like more of. Some brigades have made this transition easily however, others may need more guidance and support. We would urge brigades to be involved and provide as much feedback and information as possible.

The survey is planned to run well before next year’s election cycles, and will give CFA the opportunity to fine tune and hone exactly what support and resources are needed to assist, in this very valuable role.

WINDFARM POLICY

CFA presented to the committee, the updated version of the “Emergency Management Guidelines for Wind Energy Facilities”, (Windfarm) policy which CFA has developed. It is a comprehensive policy which covers the planning, design and development of wind farm facilities, and advocates close consultation with CFA Region and District Offices, as well as local brigades.

The policy states that facility operators must develop a Bushfire Prevention and Emergency Response Plan in consultation with CFA, DEPI and then proceed to Energy Safe Victoria for final approval. The plan will cover siting, access and water supply. The plan offers awareness and training for emergency services and advocates the operator work closely with CFA including local brigades on issues of fuel/vegetation management.

Operators of facilities are obliged, within three months of commencement of operations, to facilitate a familiarisation visit to the site and explanation of emergency services procedures to CFA and other emergency services. We would encourage brigades to take up familiarisation opportunities and build connections and relationships with operators. You can download a copy of the policy by entering “Windfarm Policy” into the search box on the CFA website, a copy can also be found on the VFBV website.

FIRE SAFETY PLEDGE

The committee was informed of a CFA initiative which will launch an eight week “Fire Safety Pledge” in October through to December. The objectives of the pledge are to encourage the community in the awareness of their own fire risk, to create a way for brigades to engage with the community on fire safety. Members of the public can visit a webpage on the CFA website and can make and share one or two pledges; The Bushfire Safety Pledge and The Home Fire Safety Pledge.

They then encourage, via social media, their friends and family to also take the pledge. Both community members and brigades can participate in this competition and there are prizes available to individual members of the public who make a pledge, and brigades based on votes from the public as to their local brigade. This is an innovative and great opportunity for brigades to engage in fire safety messaging within their communities. You can access the site and see Brigade Leader Boards by going to; www.thefiresafetypledge.com.au

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 27/06/15)

CFA-SES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND HAZARD AWARENESS FORUM

The joint CFA-SES community engagement forum being held at Novotel Forest Resort at Creswick on 1st and 2nd of August, 2015, has received very positive responses, with 380 members from 200 brigades attending. Some of these attendees come from brigades who are yet to elect a Community Safety Co-ordinator, so this shows a great deal of enthusiasm for the role and the forum.

Participants will hear from experts from across the sector on many aspects of engaging with and education of communities. They will also have the opportunity to showcase their own ideas and initiatives and network with other brigades. The Committee commends this annual forum to you, and highly recommends any brigades who have not attended one in the past, to consider attending in future years. The event is supported by a dedicated volunteer reference group, along with very supportive CFA staff who make this special event a success each year.

PLANNED BURNS - TRAINING

The Committee discussed and reviewed the proposed new training in planned burns and in particular Burn Controller training. The course being piloted has been reduced from 5 days to 2 days and is much more “hands on”, running through exercises, participating in teams as both controllers and crew. Throughout the exercises, members will be coached and observed in the team environment and as individuals. At the completion of the exercise, they will complete a short written test. Early feedback has been very positive, and the committee will continue to monitor how well the course is accepted in the field, and monitor its availability to ensure it is held at times and places convenient to volunteers.

EVENTS & ACTIVITIES REPORTING TOOL APP

Following up from the last 2 minute briefing, the committee received an update on the app for smartphones and tablets, which accesses the Brigades Online portal “Brigades Events & Activity Reporting Tool”.

The tool enables members to report community safety activities undertaken by their brigade. Based on recent feedback, the app has been simplified from 15 steps to just six questions that are now a simple “tick the box” process. The steps include; the event title, time and date of the event, the key focus of the event i.e. sausage sizzle, how the brigade promoted the event and the last step is uploading a photo. This information is then uploaded to Brigades Online. All of this information is available to all brigades and is an opportunity to see what other brigades and other districts across the state are doing in relation to community safety.

BEEKEEPERS GUIDE

After consultation with the committee, CFA has produced an updated version of a guide for beekeepers with information and advice on what they can and can’t do during Fire Danger periods and days of Total Fire Ban.

The guide has been developed based on the high number of enquiries brigades often receive during the Fire Danger period from bee keepers, and assists brigades and the community in understanding and interpreting the regulations for this unique sector. The guide lists Section 34A of the CFA act and explains the legislation and permit requirements in simple, easy to understand language. The guide also offers helpful advice on managing flammable material around their bee colonies, vegetation control, bee smokers and other safety issues. Brigades with active bee hives in their areas are encouraged to have a copy in their trucks for easy reference should you be called to investigate activities during the FDP.

IFMP

The Committee continues to advocate on the need for CFA to review its Integrated Fire Management Planning processes and policies in order to ensure volunteers and brigades are engaged in the process. CFA has committed to progressing.

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. (Meeting held 11/04/15)

COMMUNITY SAFETY CO-ORDINATOR

Approximately 600 Brigades this year will be electing a Community Safety Co-ordinator to the BMT for the first time. This role is supported by a comprehensive Toolkit that covers everything a new or even an experienced Community Safety Co-ordinator will need. The Toolkit contains a CD and other printed information that talks about what the role entails within your brigade and provides members with templates, which allow you to simply ‘fill in the blank spaces”, a guide to Social Media, explaining everything from Facebook to Twitter in clear, easy to understand language and it also contains resources from Fire Safe Kids to Vegetation Management. You can build this toolkit to include items particular to your brigade and it can become a useful resource for all brigade members. The Toolkit is available from your District Office via your Manager Community Safety.

CFA-SES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND HAZARD AWARENESS FORUM

This year the annual CFA Community engagement forum is joining up with SES, and will be run jointly and open to both CFA and SES members. This year’s forum is being held at Novotel Forest Resort at Creswick on 1st and 2nd of August, 2015. The forum is open to members who undertake community engagement initiatives within their brigades, like working with and educating their communities and those who want to learn about and share local community engagement initiatives with other CFA and SES members, as well as experts in the field. This is a wonderful opportunity for members to showcase their inventive and innovative ideas to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.

PLANNED BURNS

CFA provided feedback regarding volunteer participation in recent planned burns at Tynong. The committee was very pleased to hear high praise for our volunteer participants. This was a well-run burn and a great experience for all concerned. The feedback spoke about, not only the high level of experience and expertise our volunteers brought to the operation but the enthusiasm and abundance of information they were able to share with other participants. This congeniality and partnership building left a profound and lasting impression.

Members are encouraged to keep an eye out for future burn camps, and discuss your Brigade’s involvement. They are a great learning opportunity, and provide a great opportunity to study fire behaviour and fuel load interactions.

EVENTS & ACTIVITIES REPORTING TOOL APP

Following feedback from Managers Community Safety that many Brigades are involved in Community Events but they are not always known about, CFA has developed a web portal that makes it easy for Brigades to record and report their community engagement activities via their smartphone or tablets.

The portal is called the “Brigades Events & Activity Reporting Tool” with information on its download and use available on Brigades Online. Search for Brigade Activities.

The instructions run members through a step by step process to access the ‘Brigades Events & Activity Reporting Tool” and create a shortcut on your smartphone. If members find these instructions difficult to follow or would like some assistance, they can speak to their BASO’s or Managers Community Safety, as they will be trained in using the portal. Another easy way for Brigades to report their event is to simply record themselves on a mobile phone at the event explaining what the event is and send the video to your Manager Community Safety, and they will record the event for you.

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 29/11/14)

VOLUNTARY GRAIN HARVESTING GUIDE – TRIAL 2014/15

A Voluntary Grain Harvesting Guide has been developed by the Victorian Farmers Federation and CFA. Whilst there was limited time for volunteers to provide feedback and comment to the draft guide, volunteers and VFBV did make a wide range of suggestions and comments to the draft materials. CFA have advised the majority of these suggestions have been supported. The guide will be trialled by several groups in District 17 this season, with results to be evaluated to inform a final guide. Whilst supportive of the initiative, volunteers have expressed a concern that whilst the guide is promoted as being voluntary, insurance companies may see this as regulation and expect strict adherence with evidence of compliance being required when assessing insurance claims. The committee will monitor feedback following this year’s trial.

CAN I – CAN’T I ADVICE FOR BEE KEEPERS

The committee has reviewed and provided comment on a simple brochure that CFA is developing for apiarists. (Bee Keepers) The brochure is in response to frequent concerns and confusion raised by apiarists during Fire Danger Periods and on days of Total Fire Ban. The brochure provides specific advice and interpretations of the legislation contained within Section 43 of the CFA Act within the context of what bee keepers routinely do to manage their colonies. Advice on bee smokers, smoker fuel and vegetation planning controls is all covered in an easy to read bullet point format.

TYRE STOCKPILING

CFA and MFB have jointly developed a fire risk assessment framework for tyre stockpiling. The framework is specifically designed to assess the fire risk of indoor and outdoor storage of new and used tyres. While tyres are not considered to be a hazardous material, once there is a fire, the tyre product breaks down into hazardous compounds including gases, heavy metals, and oil, generating a great deal of smoke. The average passenger car tyre is estimated to produce more than 7.5 litres of oil, which can be a significant environmental pollutant that can get into ground water and contaminate well water. The new framework will be used to provide advice and to make recommendations for the safe storage of new or used rubber tyres, and to assist fire fighters to be aware of issues involving tyre stockpiles and fire.

FIRE MANAGEMENT PLANNING HANDBOOK

The committee is reviewing and providing comment to a new Fire Management Planning Handbook. The guide intends to be a once stop shop, and is an amalgamation of information from a multitude of sources, aimed to empower CFA representatives participating within the Integrated Fire Management Planning Framework with the knowledge, tools and avenues to enhance this base information. It is intended to enable and support the successful participation in fire management planning at various levels. The committee believes the guide will be particularly welcomed by those involved in IFMP, and will assist brigades and groups be better engaged and empowered at these forums.

SUMMER CAMPAIGN UPDATE

CFA briefed the committee on this year’s summer campaign. This year’s TV campaign will feature Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley. Whilst VFBV’s view that localized messaging via local identities and local Captains is essential to promoting the mutual obligation culture the sector is seeking from community members, the committee acknowledged that CFA is no longer as greatly involved in decision making over the summer campaign, with EMV and Department of Justice increasingly managing this aspect of the campaign. The biggest barrier still remains that people believe that a major bushfire will not happen to them. The committee continues to advocate for a multi-faceted, localized and layered approach to seasonal messaging, to combat high public apathy with agency and government messaging.

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 30/08/14)

2014 Annual Community Safety Forum

This year’s forum was yet again another huge success, with a record 390 members attending, from 185 Brigades.

The Committee reviewed feedback from this year’s participants, with an overwhelming number of responses rating the weekend as exceptional. This is now the fourth year of the Annual Forum, and its continued growth and success is directly attributed to its bottom up design and construct which see’s volunteers actively designing and running the weekend, with vols speaking to vols in the conduct of the majority of plenary and workshop sessions. The Committee congratulates the Volunteer Reference Group on another successful year, and also commends Jamie Devenish, CFA’s Member Engagement Project Manager, for his untiring support and enthusiasm to this annual event.

IFMP AUDIT

In response to the Committees continued calls for reform of the IFMP process, CFA has commissioned an external audit by KPMG, to audit and review the effectiveness of Brigade involvement in IFMP at the municipal level.

The draft report has vindicated the Committees concerns, with its key findings that CFA could better facilitate and improve volunteer and Brigade involvement in the process and address the perceived gaps between the new IFMP process and the former MFPC structure.

The report now provides CFA with substantive data and provides recommendations on how to address the shortfalls. CFA has agreed to reconstitute the IFMP State Committee, and VFBV is looking forward to working with CFA to implement an action plan that will better support and encourage strong Brigade involvement in the IFMP process.

CHANGES TO VICTORIAN PLANNING PROVISIONS (BMO)

The Committee received a detailed briefing on Amendment VC109 which includes significant changes to the bushfire controls contained in the Victorian Planning Provisions. One of the most significant changes has been the modification in some places from CFA being a “determining referral authority” to now only being a “recommending referral authority”. As a recommending referral authority CFA still provides advice in relation to an application, however the local Council is no longer bound to follow CFA’s advice. This is a significant change & will need to be monitored, as under the previous legislation Council was bound to follow CFA’s advice and apply any conditions CFA imposed on an application.

Other changes include alterations to defendable space requirements, provision of acceptable bushfire protection measures, construction standards, and the ability for removal of vegetation within defendable space.

CFA is currently considering the impact of these changes, and are seeking clarification from Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure who are responsible for the legislation.

CHIEF OFFICERS INTENT STATEMENT: COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS & FIRE PREVENTION

This year, it has been proposed that the Chief Officer issue an intent statement for this upcoming fire season that sets out his expectations for community preparedness and fire prevention. The statement will provide guidance and clarity that will allow Brigades & Staff to prioritize activities according to local risk, key needs and the availability of resources. It is hoped that as a result, Communities will be safer and more resilient due to fire prevention plans and actions having reduced the impact of fire on communities and assets, and those at risk are aware of their risk and ready to respond to warnings and advice. The need to change community attitudes was a popular discussion point at this year’s forum.

VFBV/CFA Joint Community Safety Committee

2 Minute Briefing

Issue 9: May 2014

WIRE ROPE BARRIERS

Concerned at the increasing number of wire rope barriers being installed along major roads and arterials Brigades have frequently reported their concerns about a lack of access through those barriers. VFBV delegates have been raising this issue with CFA for some time, and have pointed out that there appeared to be no standard surrounding access points along these wire ropes. The committee have asked CFA to research and develop guidelines in conjunction with VicRoads about optimal/maximum distances between breaks to allow fire truck access in times of emergency.

VFBV has been working with CFA over the last several months to produce Victorian guidelines, and CFA provided a final draft to the Committee for comment. It is expected to be completed and signed off by CFA by June 30th. Delegates were happy that the guidelines not only address the breaks in the barriers, but also address minimum vegetation management clearances on both sides of the barriers. Whilst frustrated with the long time this issue has taken to resolve, the committee is happy to see an outcome.

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT TRAINING COURSES- BURNS CAMPS

CFA have recently conducted two Burns Camps within the State with an emphasis on training and everyday burns to assist with management of vegetation. The camps, conducted by Vegetation Management Officers (VMOs) and wildfire instructors, ran for five days with two dozen volunteers attending each one in addition to career firefighters from the fire agencies. Some members undertook the five days while others were able to attend on a day by day basis according to work commitments. The camps were reported favourably by attendees and local landowners alike, with the majority of the time spent in practical burns. Members received accreditation for the burns conducted each day and have asked for more of these Burns camps.

The camps also provided an opportunity to field test the imminent “Planned Burn Guide” which the Committee has been working with the VMO’s on. CFA has advised that further Volunteer friendly burn courses will be offered, targeting weekends & evenings, locally based & in 2 day course modules.

MITIGATION OF ALPINE REGIONS’ FIRE RISK

After several years of strong and committed campaigning by VFBV delegates on the committee, CFA, the Fire Services Commissioner (now the Emergency Services Commissioner) and the Alpine Resorts Management Boards have now come together to develop a strategy to mitigate increased risks and issues in the Alpine areas regarding fire prevention and suppression. VFBV is encouraged to hear that there has been significant progress in cooperation and progress of the Alpine Master Plans. Innovative response plans are also soon to be trialled at Mt Buller in consultation with the Joint Equipment & Infrastructure Committee. Delegates are elated to see a strong and coordinated approach now being undertaken to address this unique risk.

PERMIT CONDITIONS

The committee received an update from the VMO’s on the requested “plain speak” guide to planned burn permit conditions. The committee is hoping to see this rolled out shortly, to assist Brigades undertaking burns this upcoming season.

Community Safety

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. (Meeting held 01/03/2014)

COMMUNITY SAFETY COORDINATOR BMT POSITIONS

CFA have advised that due to a delay in support materials and personnel to support the Brigade & Membership
Reclassification Project, that the mandatory position of Community Safety Coordinators within Brigade Management
Teams will now be optional for this year’s election cycle. This position will now be mandatory during the 2015 and
2016 election cycles. Whilst not mandatory this year, Brigades are still encouraged to elect this position at their earliest
opportunity. Support materials specific to this role are available from your (CEC) Community Education Coordinator
located at each of CFA’s Regional offices.

SKILLS RECOGNITION & COMMUNITY SAFETY DEVELOPMENT PATHWAYS

Most members are well aware that there are many training opportunities and formal competencies available for
brigade members related to Fire Suppression, but very few opportunities for members to participate in more formal
training in their Fire Suppression activities. Work continues on building Community Safety Development Pathways, for
those members interested in pursuing formal competencies & other related courses and learning outcomes related to
the delivery of Community Safety programs. The Committee has been working with CFA to ensure a comprehensive
Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition process is in place before the start of formal Community Safety
training is rolled out through the Districts. This is in recognition that many members have already been doing this
work, and delivering these programs over many years, and for those members there should be an easy and simple
process for their skills to be formally recognized and assessed, with only any identified “gaps” needing to be completed
before being formally accredited.

MEASURING BRIGADE’S COMMUNITY SAFETY & ENGAGEMENT

CFA are currently developing measurement tools to support Brigade’s measure and gauge the effectiveness of their
Community Safety & Community Engagement activities within their own communities. The tools are also designed to
help the Brigade identify which Community Safety programs the Brigade wants to deliver themselves, and which
programs they would like CFA assistance with.
Whilst very supportive of this approach, Volunteer delegates to the committee have requested CFA consider the actual
“needs” of each Brigade’s community, and incorporate that in feedback to the brigade’s activities & effectiveness. For
example, a small community that is not located in an area of High Fire Risk and is well protected by natural or manmade
fire breaks has very different engagement needs compared to a community that is surrounded by heavy forest, and is
located within a High Fire Risk area. By incorporating a base line of what community needs might be, that is linked to
their risk profile, Brigade’s will have a more accurate picture of which activities and programs would most suit their
community. CFA has agreed, and is investigating ways to incorporate Community Needs into the tool.

MUNICIPAL FIRE MANAGEMENT PLANS NOW AVAILABLE VIA CFA WEBSITE

Following up on an earlier suggestion by the Committee, CFA have now implemented a system that makes Municipal
Fire Management Plans easily accessible to Brigades electronically, via the member’s area of the CFA website.
Background information on IFMP and best practice guides for the development of plans is also available on the same
page. To access, log-in to CFA Brigades Online and choose;
Community ---> Municipal Fire prevention ---> IFMP Working Together
The link to the actual plans can be found under the title “Accessing Municipal Fire Management Plans”

Community Safety

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. (Meeting held 01/03/2014)

COMMUNITY SAFETY COORDINATOR BMT POSITIONS

CFA have advised that due to a delay in support materials and personnel to support the Brigade & Membership
Reclassification Project, that the mandatory position of Community Safety Coordinators within Brigade Management
Teams will now be optional for this year’s election cycle. This position will now be mandatory during the 2015 and
2016 election cycles. Whilst not mandatory this year, Brigades are still encouraged to elect this position at their earliest
opportunity. Support materials specific to this role are available from your (CEC) Community Education Coordinator
located at each of CFA’s Regional offices.

SKILLS RECOGNITION & COMMUNITY SAFETY DEVELOPMENT PATHWAYS

Most members are well aware that there are many training opportunities and formal competencies available for
brigade members related to Fire Suppression, but very few opportunities for members to participate in more formal
training in their Fire Suppression activities. Work continues on building Community Safety Development Pathways, for
those members interested in pursuing formal competencies & other related courses and learning outcomes related to
the delivery of Community Safety programs. The Committee has been working with CFA to ensure a comprehensive
Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition process is in place before the start of formal Community Safety
training is rolled out through the Districts. This is in recognition that many members have already been doing this
work, and delivering these programs over many years, and for those members there should be an easy and simple
process for their skills to be formally recognized and assessed, with only any identified “gaps” needing to be completed
before being formally accredited.

MEASURING BRIGADE’S COMMUNITY SAFETY & ENGAGEMENT

CFA are currently developing measurement tools to support Brigade’s measure and gauge the effectiveness of their
Community Safety & Community Engagement activities within their own communities. The tools are also designed to
help the Brigade identify which Community Safety programs the Brigade wants to deliver themselves, and which
programs they would like CFA assistance with.
Whilst very supportive of this approach, Volunteer delegates to the committee have requested CFA consider the actual
“needs” of each Brigade’s community, and incorporate that in feedback to the brigade’s activities & effectiveness. For
example, a small community that is not located in an area of High Fire Risk and is well protected by natural or manmade
fire breaks has very different engagement needs compared to a community that is surrounded by heavy forest, and is
located within a High Fire Risk area. By incorporating a base line of what community needs might be, that is linked to
their risk profile, Brigade’s will have a more accurate picture of which activities and programs would most suit their
community. CFA has agreed, and is investigating ways to incorporate Community Needs into the tool.

MUNICIPAL FIRE MANAGEMENT PLANS NOW AVAILABLE VIA CFA WEBSITE

Following up on an earlier suggestion by the Committee, CFA have now implemented a system that makes Municipal
Fire Management Plans easily accessible to Brigades electronically, via the member’s area of the CFA website.
Background information on IFMP and best practice guides for the development of plans is also available on the same
page. To access, log-in to CFA Brigades Online and choose;
Community ---> Municipal Fire prevention ---> IFMP Working Together
The link to the actual plans can be found under the title “Accessing Municipal Fire Management Plans”

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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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