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Seeking Expressions of Interest - Combined District 8 and District 13 Recovery Task Force

VFBV District Council 8 in conjunction with VFBV District Council 13 is working to assist recovery efforts for fire impacted communities in Eastern and North-eastern Victoria. Over the coming weeks, and possibly months, we will be deploying vehicles and equipment to undertake community-based recovery projects in areas recently affected by this season’s fires.

Each Task Force will be conducted as an approved CFA operational activity and to this end we are seeking expressions of interest from brigades and individuals who may have time available to participate. Details of the mostly weekend deployments will be determined in advance and teams selected will be briefed accordingly prior to departure.

As a combined effort between VFBV District Council's 8 and 13 brigades and groups, we require experienced and endorsed chainsaw operators, drivers and safety officers. Labourers, able bodied helpers and personnel to assist with catering and base camp style accommodation are also needed. Fit and able firefighters with specialised skills in fencing and light excavator work are strongly encouraged to apply. The aim of the task force is to be self-sufficient for the period of each deployment.

Please discuss your participation prior to applying, with your brigade Captain and Brigade Management Team. This is a CFA approved activity so all operational conditions and SOPs apply.

Please register your interest, skills and contact details with either one of the following:

District 8

VFBV State Councillor William (Bill) Watson, Wonthaggi Fire Brigade 
(03) 5672 4731 or 0417 494 253
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

District 13

VFBV State Councillor Rod Stebbing, Monbulk Fire Brigade
(03) 9756 7735 or 0417 362 255
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Volunteers firefighters are banding together to help their fellow volunteers and other Victorian communities impacted by the summer’s disastrous bushfires.

The volunteers are forming a task force to carry out weekend recovery projects in eastern and north-eastern areas, with the main focus on volunteers who have lost homes and other property.

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) state councillors Wonthaggi firefighter Bill Watson and Monbulk firefighter Rod Stebbing, who are organising the task force, said it showed another side of the work done by CFA volunteers.

“Volunteers are running this for volunteers,” Mr Watson said. “We were there to battle the fires but we’re all part of the same community and this is a great way to follow-up and help people in a tangible, hands-on way.

“Our main priority is volunteer firefighters but we won’t exclude anyone; If we’re doing a job and see a neighbour who needs help then we’ll help them.

“A number of Victorian volunteer firefighters lost homes and other property in the fires. Along with their respective brigades we will support them wherever we can.

The task force will be divided into separate teams to help in the recovery process and to facilitate multiple tasks at one time.

Mr Watson said the task force aimed to cover cracks left by insurance and government support. “We’ll pick up those areas in between; it might be felling trees and cutting them up, general maintenance, fencing, clearing up and other jobs not covered by insurance.

“It’s about helping fellow firefighters and others in their time of need and helping them move on.”

Ms Watson was involved in a similar recovery program after Black Saturday and said the work had been greatly appreciated. “We removed dead trees, installed fencing and general cleaning ups. We have also worked on flood recovery projects, standing up farmers’ fences after tons of stubble washed onto fences and held them down.”

More volunteers are being recruited, particularly those able to help with heavy labour and with skills such as using a chainsaw.

The first project will be dedicated to the memory of Don Bigham, a former member of the Gruyere Fire Brigade who Mr Watson described as a great humanitarian who supported previous efforts with time and personal equipment.

The task force is being coordinated by VFBV volunteers in Districts 8 and 13, covering Mornington Peninsula to Wonthaggi and Gembrook and District 13 covers Knox and Warrandyte to Warburton and Dandenong Ranges. it is an approved CFA operational activity.

People can register their interest with Mr Watson on 5672 4731, 0417 494 253 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Mr Stebbing on 9756 7735, 0417 362 255 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Read 4964 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 March 2020 13:28
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.