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2014 VFBV Volunteer Survey - Respect and Professionalism

The 2014 survey results for this theme are reasonably consistent with previous years, a notable trend however, is that the respondents feel the issues underpinning respect and recognition of their professionalism are even more important than previous surveys.

Survey results within this theme indicate CFA performing strongest in the statement ‘CFA consistently and proactively promotes the public understanding of community confidence in the role and professionalism of CFA volunteers and their brigades’ and conversely, poorest in the statement ‘the respect and value of the contribution of volunteers is evident in CFA’s actions and culture’.

The majority of the comments on respect and professionalism were about how volunteers feel they are being treated within CFA. A number of negative comments referred to being treated as ‘second class’ by CFA organisationally, when compared to the way CFA manage and support their paid operational staff.

This is also expressed in the way volunteers see themselves treated as ‘second class’ by CFA operational staff in the field. The comments express a frustration with an established culture amongst some CFA paid staff, in the way they treat volunteers.

Specific major incidents were mentioned in the negative comments as examples of where volunteers felt they were not treated with respect, provided the same regard as paid staff to contribute to the event response or given the same level of support as that received by paid staff.

Importance has increased steadily over the past three years, with an initial improvement in performance from 2012 to 2013 then remaining the same for 2014. This has resulted in a marginal gap increase in 2014.

The 2014 survey data was collected against the eight former CFA Regions, and when tabulated by those Regions, it showed significant differences in survey results between the former three ‘Outer Metropolitan’ Regions (Eastern, Northern and Western Metro and South East Metro) and the five other Regions.

When reallocated against the new CFA five Region model, the survey result differences become less apparent as they are ‘absorbed’ into the new Regions’ geographic coverage.

Regional variation should be of concern to CFA, given that the more urbanised areas can generate a higher CFA service demand. Volunteers are generally managing higher activity levels and certainly requiring highest possible levels of volunteer motivation, satisfaction and a feeling their volunteer skills and experience are utilised optimally and their capacity and professionalism is respected and welcome.

 

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Read 15018 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:00
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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