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Thursday, 03 November 2022 16:03

2022/23 VESEP Successful Projects

Written by

On Friday 28th October, the Minister for Emergency Services the Hon Jaclyn Symes announced the outcomes of the Volunteer Emergency Service Equipment Program (VESEP) for 2022/23.

VESEP provides grants of $2 for every $1 of Brigade or Group funding to assist brigades and groups in acquiring a wide range of additional equipment in recognition of the significant contribution emergency service volunteers provide in supporting Victorian communities.

Now in its 22nd year, VESEP first started out as the Community Safety Emergency Support Program in 2000 and was designed in close consultation with VFBV and volunteers, with the intent being a grants program designed by volunteers with minimal administration required from volunteers.

Since 2000, the program has funded over 2,000 projects totalling more than $150 million dollars, as a investment in maintaining and building volunteer capability by supporting volunteers through grants.

VFBV congratulates the 145 CFA Brigades and Groups who were successful in their VESEP applications for grants across all categories in all districts across the State.

Under the annual grants program volunteer emergency service groups are given the opportunity to apply for grants to purchase equipment including Tankers, Field Command Vehicles, Rehabilitation Units and for minor improvements to stations including refurbishments and amenities, such as kitchens and turnout rooms.

Other operational equipment that can be funded includes thermal imaging cameras, chainsaws, generators, quick fill pumps and remote area lighting. While videoconferencing equipment, laptops, smart TV’s and iPads were also popular items.

A number of brigades and groups were also supported through the Special Access Grant which assists brigades and groups with limited funds to access VESEP by reducing or in some cases eliminating all together the brigade/group contribution.

In addition, brigades and groups across the state will also receive additional equipment and support through a number of statewide initiatives.

It is also a good time for Brigade and Group Management Teams to start considering if there is a project they may wish to apply for a VESEP grant in the future. The VFBV VESEP Application Help pack provides some helpful tips and information that you can use to start thinking and preparing for future applications. A copy of the 2022/23 help pack can be found here.

To any brigade or group who was unsuccessful in this years allocation, please do not be disheartened, talk to your District to ascertain what improvements could be made to your application for the next round of grants.

VFBV congratulates all the successful Brigades and Groups who were successful in obtaining a VESEP grant in 2022/23, you can download a list of the successful brigades and groups below. 

Thursday, 27 October 2022 15:00

Now Open - 2022 VFBV Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Survey

Written by

The 2022 VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey is now open to all CFA volunteers.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY. 

The survey is an annual snapshot of volunteer opinion, which includes questions on issues chosen by CFA volunteers.

The survey has become a critical tool in monitoring short-and-long-term trends, and the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at improving CFA volunteer engagement and wellbeing.  Last year, almost 2,700 CFA volunteers took part in the survey.

All answers and comments are confidential, but the results go straight to the decision makers at CFA, EMV (Emergency Management Victoria) and Government.

The survey takes 10 – 15 minutes to complete.

The survey continues to be an important and reliable method to capture the views of volunteers and track what is improving, as well as addressing areas that are the cause of dissatisfaction for volunteers.  You can download a summary of last year’s results at the bottom of this page. 

VFBV’s advocacy on behalf volunteers depends on robust volunteer feedback to help inform decision makers of the issues most important to CFA volunteers.

Once you have completed the survey yourself, please also share the survey with other CFA volunteers.  The more volunteers that take part, the more impact the results will have.  This is an important tool to measure and report on trends in CFA volunteer welfare and efficiency.

As a large part of the state is currently either impacted by floods across Victoria or involved in the emergency response, a closing date for the survey has not been set.  Typically the annual survey remains open for approximately 8-12 weeks.  We will monitor responses to gauge if there has been an interruption to the usual promotion of the survey and a closing date will be advertised down the track as this becomes clearer.  You are encouraged to complete the survey at your earliest convenience and to help promote participation among your fellow CFA volunteers.

If you have issues accessing the survey – please contact your VFBV Support Officer or the VFBV office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

We are also able to send out paper copies of the survey to members who do not have internet access, please contact the VFBV office on (03) 9886 1141 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a copy to be posted.

Wednesday, 19 October 2022 10:25

2022 Flood Recovery Resources

Written by

Updated: 1 December 2022 (Originally issued 18 October 2022, updated 27 October 2022 and 4 November 2022) 

The following Fact Sheet has been prepared to assist members and their families to navigate the various sources of assistance that we are currently aware of in relation to the Victorian Flood event since October 2022. The information below is also available for download at the bottom of this page.

PLEASE NOTE - Information concerning relief and recovery assistance is very dynamic and frequently being updated. This update provides a snapshot of current resources available to assist with member enquires. 

Flood, Storm, Tsunami and Earthquake Emergency
132 500
For life-threatening emergencies call Triple Zero (000)
For non emergency incidents call the Police Assistance line 131 444
For urgent animal welfare issues call 1800 226 226

 


 

EMERGENCY INCIDENTS AND WARNINGS

For the latest information on incidents and warnings use the VicEmergency app or www.emergency.vic.gov.au or free call 1800 226 226 for warnings and recovery information, including emergency relief assistance grants for hardship.

 

Flood Recovery Hotline call 1800 560 760

The Flood Recovery Hotline is a single state-wide number, that Victorians impacted by the recent 2022 floods can call for help or assistance with:

- Navigating available support
- Clean up services
- Finding a place to stay
- Financial support 
- Mental health and wellbeing support

The recovery hotline is open from 7.30am-7.30pm every day. (Press 9 for an interpreter) 

 

The Insurance Council of Australia call 1800 734 621 www.insurancecouncil.com.au 

The ICA’s disaster hotline offers assistance to policyholders if they are uncertain of their insurance details.

 

Road Closures 

Visit VicTraffic at traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au for main road closures. For urgent road hazards call 13 11 70.

 

The Services Australia Emergency Information line, assistance is available if you are unable to access internet services or have trouble using your MyGov account call 180 22 66

 

ARE YOU HOMELESS DUE TO FLOODING? 

Support for people affected by the Victorian Floods, since October 2022.

If you’re directly affected by this declared disaster, there are lump sum payments and ongoing, short-term allowances to help you. You may be eligible for more than one of these.

Read about additional help if you’ve been affected by a natural disaster.

PLEASE NOTE - To assist flood affected individuals there has been a temporary pause of mutual obligation requirements for some flood-affected areas - more information https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/pause-requirements?context=51411 

Requirements have paused from 14 October 2022 until 5 January 2023 inclusive in the following postcodes and LGAs: Campaspe, Moria

Requirements have paused from 17 October 2022 until 5 January 2023 inclusive in the following LGA: Gannawarra

Requirements have paused from 30 November 2022 until 5 January 2023 inclusive in the following LGAs: Mildura, Swan Hill 

If you're referred to Workforce Australia, you can stay up to date with any temporary suspension of mutual obligation or participation requirements. Check temporary suspension of obligations on the Workforce Australia website. 

If you're unable to meet your requirements due to a personal issue, you can ask for a temporary exemption. Read what exemptions may apply

The Personal Hardship Assistance Program’s Emergency Re-establishment Assistance fund will support Victorian families whose properties are hardest-hit beyond the initial payments for food and shelter – providing up to $42,250 for uninsured properties, helping to pay for clean-up, repairs, rebuilding and replacing household contents.

Information on how to access the relief payments, along with other recovery information can be found on the Vic Emergency website www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief 

 

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT RELIEF AND RECOVERY ADVICE
Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria 

Information regarding State level support services and programs to assist families, businesses and farmers affected by emergencies across Victoria. www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief 

Victorian Government Emergency Relief Payments

The Victorian Government has announced Emergency Relief Payments of $580 per adult and $290 per child (to a maximum of $2030 per family) are available to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items. 

Information on how to access the relief payments - https://emergencypayments.dffh.vic.gov.au/

Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Victoria 

Financial Crisis Support – provides links to immediate assistance for individuals, including accommodation, food and clothing as well as the Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/financial-crisis-support 

Department of Human Services (DHS)/Centrelink – Commonwealth 

Provides information on support and services that may be available if you are experiencing severe financial hardship, recovering from a disaster, or in need of special assistance www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/centrelink 

 

EMERGENCY SERVICE FLOOD RESPONSE VOLUNTEER EXPENSE REIMBURSMENTS 

The State Government has announced that a reimbursement process has been implemented for all CFA, SES and LSV volunteers who have been deployed in response to the 2022 Victorian Flood Event.

Any volunteer who was deployed for a cumulative period of 24 hours or more and has incurred direct out-of-pocket expenses may apply for a streamlined reimbursement payment of up to $300 to cover expenses incurred (if any).

CFA is in the process of setting up an online claims process which members will be required to enter the dates of deployments, applicable FIRS numbers and a list of expenses incurred (receipts are not required if expenses are under $300). If expenses total more than $300 a different process will be in place and receipts must be provided. As you can only make one claim, members are advised to hold off on making any claims until towards the end of the flood response activities.

From a VFBV perspective, our aim has always been to ensure processes are in place to minimise or eliminate any expenses being incurred by volunteers on deployment, but we understand that from time to time there may be things that crop up. We encourage any volunteer who has incurred any out-of-pocket expenses to consider making a claim. We will also seek to monitor de-identified data of the most common type of expenses claimed to inform future work to minimise these costs occurring in the first place. 

Further information can be found on CFA’s frequently asked questions page Volunteer Expense Reimbursement Process (Flood Response) - FAQs | CFA Members Online or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Please note - for CFA Members you will need to use your Members Online login and password. 

Applications will close on 31 January 2023.  

 

LONG TERM ASSISTANCE 

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is a lump sum payment to help you if you’ve been significantly affected by Victorian Floods since October 2022.

If you are eligible you could get:

- $1000 per adult
- $400 for each child younger than 16.

You are eligible if you’re in a Local Government Area (LGA) that’s been declared for a disaster.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is not for minor damage or inconvenience. Its purpose is to help with major damage to your property or other assets. You can choose to get this payment in 2 parts.

You can access the AGDRP at : https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/victorian-floods-october-2022-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment 

 

AFFECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS

SHIRE/COUNCIL PHONE EMAIL
Benalla Shire 03 5760 2600 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Boroondara City 03 9278 4444  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Buloke Shire 1300 520 520 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Campaspe Shire 1300 666 535 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Central Goldfields Shire 03 5461 0610 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
City of Greater Bendigo 1300 002 642 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
City of Greater Shepparton 03 5832 9700 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Corangamite Shire 03 5593 7100 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Golden Plains Shire 03 5220 7111 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Hepburn Shire 03 5348 2306 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Loddon Shire 03 5494 1200 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Macedon Ranges Shire 03 5422 0333 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Maribyrnong City  03 9688 0200 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Melbourne City 03 9658 9658  
Mildura Rural City Council 03 5018 8100 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mitchell Shire 03 5734 6200 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Moira Shire 03 5871 9222 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Moonee Valley City 03 9243 8888 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mornington Peninsula Shire 1300 850 600 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mount Alexander Shire 03 5471 1700 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Murrindindi Shire 03 5772 0333 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Northern Grampians Shire 03 5358 8700 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pyrenees Shire  1300 797 363 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Rural City of Wangaratta 03 5722 0888 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Strathbogie Shire 1800 065 993 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Yarra Ranges Shire 1300 368 333 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

LOSS OF INCOME ASSISTANCE 

DISASTER RECOVERY ALLOWANCE

If you lost income as a direct result of Victorian Floods since October 2022, you may also be eligible for Disaster Recovery Allowance. If you’re eligible, you may be able to get both the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance.

You must meet eligibility rules to get the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.

To get it, you or a dependent child you’re a principal carer for must meet all of the following criteria:

- you’re an Australian resident or hold an eligible visa
- you’re in an eligible Local Government Area (LGA)
- you’re claiming this payment for the Victorian Floods, October 2022 for the first time.

You can contact us on 180 22 66 if you want to discuss the outcome of your claim.

DISASTER RECOVERY FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS
The joint Australian, state and territory governments' Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) provide a range of financial assistance to the natural disaster-declared areas in each state or territory.

For the Victoria floods, commencing 6 October 2022, the available assistance measures may include:

- personal hardship and distress
- removal of debris from residential properties
- counter disaster operations
- restoration of damaged essential public assets.

 

OTHER ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE 

For information on available recovery assistance, visit the VIC Emergency website.

For further information on recovery arrangements, visit Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will replace passports that have been lost or damaged in declared natural disasters free of charge, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.​​ 

Business SupportSmall Business Immediate Flood Relief Program.

A one-off payment for eligible businesses directly impacted by the recent floods in Victoria, to assist with costs such as clean-up, safety inspections, repairs, hiring of equipment and purchase of stock.  Call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15 for further assistance. https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/small-business-immediate-flood-relief-program 

Flood and storm financial advice and support for farmers

Primary producer recovery grants and rural landholder grants are available to cover the cost of recovery and get businesses up and running again. https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/farm-management/emergency-management/floods/flood-advice-and-support 

Primary ProducersClean-Up Relief Grant, Concessional Loans and Transport Subsidies.

Grants, loans and subsidies are available for flood-affected farmers.  to cover the cost of clean-up and support businesses to get back up and running. Call Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit https://www.ruralfinance.com.au/industry-programs/victorian-primary-producer-flood-relief-program for more information.

Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) 

Fee Relief – in the case of natural disaster, ASIC can review late lodgement and late payment fees incurred as a result of matters outside your control and waive them in some circumstances. asic.gov.au/for-business/payments-fees-and-invoices/fee-waivers/ 

Australian Tax Office (ATO) 

Dealing with disasters – an ATO portal linking to information regarding ways that individuals and businesses can manage tax obligations following a disaster. https://www.ato.gov.au/general/support-in-difficult-times/natural-disaster-support/

Insurance Council 

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a Significant Event for regions of Victoria, New South Wales and Northern Tasmania impacted by flooding. The Insurance Council’s processes have been activated to assess and monitor the insurance claims impact of this unfolding flood event.

https://insurancecouncil.com.au/resource/insurance-council-declares-significant-event-for-three-states-impacted-by-floods/ 

Banking

Anyone affected by the disaster is encouraged to contact their financial institution to discuss any support programs they may have in place.  Further information on dealing with your bank during this time can be found via the Australian Banking Association ausbanking.org.au/flood-affected-customers-encouraged-to-contact-their-bank-2/  


If you are in severe financial hardship, recovering from a disaster or need special assistance humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/crisis-and-special-help 


VFBV WELFARE FUND 

 

Operating since 1913, the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria welfare Fund provides fast small grants to CFA volunteers, long serving former volunteers and their families, who are experiencing significant financial hardship.  Typical cases involve prolonged illness, bereavement, loss of earnings, or the accommodation and travel costs associated with supporting a relative in hospital.

The Welfare Fund is run under Australian Tax Office rules, independently audited, and grant decisions are made by a committee of long serving CFA volunteers. The Fund has helped close to 1,300 volunteers, with more than $2.3 million in grants made over the years.

- Grants up to $5,000
- Available to all members and long serving ex-members and their families of subscribing Brigades 
- Contact to the VFBV Welfare Fund Secretary on (03) 9886 1141 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or your VFBV Support Officer or State Councillor to discuss eligibility and application process.

 

CFA MEMBER WELFARE AND SUPPORT 

Support services are available to all members and their immediate families:

CFA WELLBEING SUPPORT LINE
1800 959 232
Providing CFA members and their immediate family access to 24 hour support 7 days a week.
Psychologists – Counsellors – Peer Support - Chaplains

Lifeline: 13 11 14 - provides crisis support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 - to talk with a trained mental health professional.

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 - information and assistance for young people and children. 

Thursday, 06 October 2022 15:47

October 2022 Newsletter

Written by

Valuable Feedback
By Adam Barnett, VFBV Chief Executive Officer

Over the last few months we have been seeking feedback on the ongoing application of the Chief Officer’s minimum requirements for operational response. Currently these consist of the successful completion of; minimum skills (now known as general firefighter); an annual entrapment drill, and tree hazard awareness course every three years.

And while State Council is yet to consider the feedback and will do so later this month – the feedback aptly demonstrates how broad and varied our membership, brigades and our operating environments are.

Firstly, I want to thank the hundreds of people who took the time to provide feedback. Close to 400 individual responses on behalf of individuals, brigades, groups and district councils makes for a strong sample size, and a really good mix between districts, brigade classifications and the roles of people submitting feedback that will provide a treasure trove of perspectives.

I continue to be impressed by the generosity and willingness of our people to share their thoughts and experiences. Almost all submissions not only directly answered the questions asked but provided additional comments and reasons on why they felt the way they do.

We notice this same generosity throughout our annual Welfare and Efficiency survey, and the qualitative data collected though the comments are always incredibly informative and useful.

It’s what allows us to analyse and interpret the feedback we receive and turn that feedback into valuable guidance and recommendations. Using our own VFBV organisational knowledge and memory, combined with the feedback from the field - we can then provide credible independent advice back to CFA. With senior management demonstrating a renewed commitment to consider and respond to volunteer feedback, the importance of getting involved and being part of the discussions is critical.

The feedback received on the minimum requirements suggest that a large majority of people support the ongoing application of the Chief Officer’s minimum requirements, with 69% indicating unqualified support, and only 7% indicating non-support. An additional 21% indicated support, but also expressed a desire for the requirements to be slightly modified.

When we asked for thoughts on the requirement to conduct an annual entrapment drill, support for the annual requirement rose to 75% support. 11% indicated they would prefer it move to a two-yearly requirement, and 8% advocated for a three-yearly requirement.

You may notice the results don’t always add up to 100%, and this is because the remainder of responses are covered by either “other” or “I don’t know”.

Using the qualitative comments, some strong trends in feedback starts to emerge and is extremely useful to provide context to why people have said what they have.

For example, while the majority of submissions strongly supported the importance that the annual entrapment drill plays in our safety culture, there was very strong feedback on ways in which the process could and should be improved.

Top of the list was greater clarity and better consistency in CFA’s doctrine, procedures and reporting, so that the obligations are clearly understood and communicated. Equally top of the list was the importance of flexibility and for CFA to provide improved support for brigades and members to then meet any of the requirements.

Suggestions for flexibility included aligning expiry dates and moving away from rigid calendar dates to a more practical window aligned with fire seasons. Requests to trust and empower brigade leaders to deal with individual cases where appropriate, as well as greater support to provide more opportunities for members to access opportunities.

There was very critical feedback expressed on how the new general firefighter program has been rolled out, and widely held perceptions of the time it takes to get new recruits on a course, and the inflexible way some districts have gone about scheduling them.

On the suggestion that CFA should consider an option for the entrapment drill refresher to be conducted via an online package, support dropped to only 21%, with 71% of respondents arguing that the nature of the entrapment drill was best suited for practical completion, and the importance of forming muscle memory through practice and repetition.

However equally important is the feedback provided by those who supported an online package, that will enable us to consider the reasons why people preferred this option, and how improvements might be made to accommodate greater flexibility.

The clearest rejection was reserved for the suggestion that perhaps the requirements and frequency of the minimum requirements could be varied depending on the classification of a brigade. For example, could smaller or quieter class 1 brigades perhaps have the flexibility to conduct them less often?

82% of respondents indicated they did not support the basic requirements being varied, with only 18% supporting the suggestion. While opinions on this question fortified the higher the brigade classification of the individual responding, even 71% of respondents from class 1 brigades did not support a variance.

Again, the qualitative comments provide a plethora of suggestions on how smaller brigades could be better supported in meeting the requirements, with the suggestion that rather than lower the requirements, CFA could instead increase the support for those smaller and quieter brigades that would help them achieve the requirements with less impost on member’s time.

The really important point to emerge from the feedback was that while people strongly supported and advocated for greater flexibility, they didn’t want this to come disproportionately at the expense of a minimum level or baseline of consistency.

The more difficult proposition of all the options canvassed was the questions around the requirement to undergo the tree hazard awareness package.

Demonstrating the divergence of views, 41% supported the current requirement to complete the package every three years, while 41% advocated that the package should be completed annually along with the entrapment drill.

Within the feedback and comments of those advocating for tree hazard awareness to become an annual requirement, was an equal push that this does not necessarily mean doing the existing package yearly. There is clearly a recognition that the current package was designed to coincide with the introduction of the new national guidelines, and while intended to bring people up-to-speed on all the new changed terms and symbols, moving to an annual refresher provides an opportunity to shorten and simplify the package to be a true “refresher” that is completed frequently while retaining a slightly larger package that might be conducted less frequently (such as every 3 or 5 years) or when there are significant changes or lessons learned.

We will now investigate and research the various opinions and suggestions made, and also consider what further advice to provide the Chief Officer.

Like all things, this isn’t simply a matter of ‘survey says’ and simply parroting how many people indicated answers between binary options. The value of our work will come from not only understanding the context of the feedback but also the thoughtful and diligent consideration of all the feedback by State Council and other elected volunteer representatives.

They will not only consider the results but will apply a strategic lens across the issues as well as considering practical impacts that may go to the practicability of the arrangements to ensure changes have direct influence on safety outcomes.

It should also be stressed that these are minimum requirements, and nothing prevents brigades who believe they operate in higher risk environments, the choice to offer supplementary opportunities for their members.

I frequently quote the popular saying that there are two things you never want to see being made. Sausages and legislation. At times I jest we should perhaps add ‘consultation’ to this list.

I say that to remind people that genuine consultation isn’t simply about asking a question and then waiting upon a single response. It’s a journey – not a destination, it takes time and sometimes it is difficult and challenging.

Good consultation is about empowering and trusting volunteers to engage with them as equal partners to consider the issue, challenge or opportunity, and that extends well after an initial response comes back.

Robustness is achieved by the proper analysis of the feedback and then consideration of alternatives; providing timeframes that are respectful and appropriate for a volunteer- based organisation; as well as a commitment to show how feedback has been taken into account and considered before decisions or next steps are taken.

Given the divergence of views on some of the topics, I’ll be seeking an iterative process of engagement with the Chief that allows volunteers to further consider the various options suggested.

And at each step, I’m hoping to have the opportunity to come back and seek feedback – especially through District Councils.

Though our actions, I hope to demonstrate the importance of volunteers being involved in our consultative structures and providing feedback when requested.

On this note, I remind members that very shortly, we’ll be launching this year’s VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey.

The survey is a trusted, reliable and important method used to capture the views of volunteers by volunteers, while also tracking trends in volunteer opinion over the years. And I’d argue there has never been a more important time for volunteers to have their say on how their CFA experience is tracking. And while all your details are confidential, the deidentified results go straight to decision and policy makers.

You can sign up now for pre-registration at the VFBV website on your phone, tablet or computer, or keep an eye out for when its launched. We can even post you a paper copy should you so desire.

Your voice matters and will have an impact on decisions affecting the future. So - if you have not participated in the survey before, make yourself a promise that you won’t let this opportunity pass you by for another year. If you’re not contributing to the feedback, it’s a bit hard to criticise the decisions being made.

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”


 

Consultation Dashboard

A new landing page has been created on the VFBV website to help members review all current State level policies and procedures that are currently open for formal feedback and consultation.

This page is updated to show current items open, and the dates of when feedback is due, as well as linking to more detail on the relevant topic.

Visit the VFBV website to see the current items open for consultation.

Members are reminded to provide both positive and negative feedback. If we only hear from people who are against a certain policy or position, it is more difficult to assess the broader level of support for particular issues.

Feedback does not need to be long or detailed, but if you do have the time to make substantive comment that is always welcome.

 

Fiskville Redress Scheme

A reminder of the establishment of a Fiskville Redress Scheme to support Fiskville affected persons.

The scheme is accepting applications from people who had prolonged exposure to toxic substances at the former Fiskville Training College site between 1971 and 2015.

The scheme offers a range of options including a financial payment, and access to mental health counselling and medical health support. You can contact the schemes support team for a confidential discussion or assistance with your application: 1300 315 198 Between 9:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday (excluding public holidays) or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The scheme is administered by the Department of Justice and Community Safety and is independent of CFA. To download an application form, or review further information, you can visit https://www.vic.gov.au/redress-fiskville 

 

Survey Pre-Registration

This year’s VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey is about to open. Volunteers can pre-register now to ensure you are amongst the first to be notified of this year’s survey.

Visit the VFBV website or use the QR code below to register your interest.

 

Open for Consultation

Formal consultation has commenced on two policies: an updated CFA Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy; and a CFA Asset and Building Naming Policy and Procedure.

VFBV is seeking broad feedback and comment from volunteers in order to inform and assist with VFBV formal responses to these documents. VFBV District Councils have also been invited to lead local discussion at the District level.

Feedback on each of the items currently being consulted on can be provided via your District Council, local VFBV Support Officer or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the dates listed below. VFBV encourages that feedback be provided ASAP so that early submissions can help inform if any additional research needs to be undertaken before a VFBV position is formalised.

CFA Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
The CFA Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy has been updated to reflect the new Victorian Child Safe Standards that came into effect in 1 July 2022, and are in their six-month transition period.

The new Victorian Standards are more prescriptive than the previous standards, with new minimum standards for each standard that all organisations must meet. Therefore, the CFA policy has been updated to reflect the new requirements.

The updated CFA Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy can be found on the VFBV website for review or from your local District Council.

Feedback on this policy closes 7th November 2022.

CFA Asset and Building Naming Policy and Procedure

The CFA Asset and Building Naming Policy and Procedure proposes to cover arrangements and requirements applying to the future naming of buildings, parts of buildings and other assets such as vehicles.

The CFA Asset and Building Naming Policy and Procedure can be found on the VFBV website from your local District Council.

Feedback on this policy and procedure closes on 30th November 2022.
 

Joint Committee EOI
Expressions of interest are now open for volunteers to nominate to the CFA/VFBV Joint Committees for the 2023 calendar year.

If you feel you can contribute and have the time, are passionate about one of the eight streams and want to be an integral part of our Joint Committee process – then please visit our website or talk to your local VFBV State Councillor or VFBV Support Officer for a nomination form.

Nominations are due 28 November 2022.

 

Urban Competition Coaches and Officials Skills Workshop
The Urban Competition and Rules Committee is holding a Coaches and Officials  Skills workshop on 13 November 2022 at the Bendigo Competition Track beginning at 9:30am.

The workshop will be facilitated by experienced Judges, Officials and Coaches, with all brigades, competitors and coaches encouraged to attend. The workshops are also targeted at members who are interested in gaining skills to assist in the officiating of local competitions and at the State Championships as well as current and prospective team coaches who want to gain some new skills. Current and future competitors are also welcome to attend to learn from experienced competition coaches and champion competitors.

Judges and officials workshops will cover skills and roles including judge in the box; announcers; on track judging; recorders; starters; marshalling officers and ladder catching. While the coaching workshops will cover the use of the tray in B Section events; rolling on; competitor safety; appliance, marshall and junior events as well as how to run various events.

If you are interested in attend the workshop, please RSVP to the VFBV office via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (03) 9886 1141 by Monday 31 October 2022.

 

Fire Wise – October 2022 online only edition

The October 2022 edition of Fire Wise has been published online only, this edition and past editions are available from the Fire Wise website.

You can support Fire Wise and the role it plays as an independent voice in keeping volunteers informed by becoming a subscriber. To become a Fire Wise subscriber visit the Fire Wise website or contact the Managing Editor of Fire Wise, Gordon Rippon-King either by phone 0402 051 412 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Recent articles on the VFBV website
Open for Consultation Dashboard

Volunteers welcome Fiskville Redress Scheme

Feedback Requested – Updated CFA Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy

Feedback Requested – Draft CFA Asset and Building Naming

2023 VFBV/CFA Joint Committee District Nominees Expressions of Interest

 

Enjoy the VFBV monthly newsletter?
If you enjoy reading the VFBV newsletter each month, why not share it with your fellow volunteers?

Either share this page with others who may enjoy the articles or encourage other volunteers to sign up to receive their own copy via email each month here.

 

VFBV are seeking expressions of interest from members to be Joint Committee District Nominees for the 2023 VFBV/CFA Joint Committees. 

Interested volunteers are encouraged to submit your expression of interest to your local District Council for endorsement by 21st November 2022.

VFBV/CFA Joint Committees are a critical part of the consultative framework, offering a direct line of communication between volunteers and the state-level decision makers within the CFA.

If you feel you have a passion for one of the eight committees and have the time to contribute please contact your local District Council or local VFBV Support Officer to submit your nomination (nomination form available for download at the bottom of the page).  In particular, VFBV is seeking greater diversity across our structures and highly encourages nominations across the entire broad and diverse membership.

Following a refresh, the eight Joint Committees are:

Community Safety Enhancing services for brigades to improve community preparedness, recovery, and resilience in the prevention of fires.
Equipment and Infrastructure Working closely with the infrastructure services and fleet management team at CFA to improve equipment, stations, and appliances.
Member Services 
(formerly Volunteerism)
Consultation with CFA to improve volunteer recruitment, retention, youth, cadets, events, championships and fundraising.
Operational Capability (new) Building brigade/group capability, addressing gaps in service delivery, personal protective clothing and equipment and specialist response.
Operational Performance 
(formerly Operations)
Policy, doctrine and standards to ensure continuous improvement including service delivery standards, safe operating procedures and lessons learned.
People, Culture and Safety 
(formerly HR, Welfare and OH&S)
Improving the welfare and safety of members by improving HR and welfare services and ensuring CFA is a safe place to volunteer.
Technology and Innovation 
(formerly Communications and Technology)
Working to improve member access to the best innovations in equipment, communication and technology, mapping and communications.
Training  Continuous review and improvement to course design, delivery and access to volunteer training and training equipment.

As committees need to be of a reasonable size district nominees are appointed to the committees via an expression of interest process and are approved annually by State Council.

The Joint Committee structure allows for selected district nominees to join State Councillors to be a part of planning for the future, developing strategies and raising issues that have been raised by the wider VFBV membership across all Districts. 

District Councils are asked to seek expressions of interest from members who wish to participate in the Joint Committees and discuss with them a few key considerations:

  • A requirement to attend a minimum of four (4) meetings per year at CFA HQ in Burwood (or virtually as required), usually held on a Saturday or Sunday.  (2023 proposed meeting schedule below)
  • Relevant subject matter expertise and the ability to actively contribute to the Committees work with a State-wide view of issues.
  • A network outside their own brigade which will allow them to communicate views that are not just their own
  • Willingness to report back to District Council and engage with members 

 

District Council Endorsement Process

District Council Executives have been requested to review all district nominations and provide a recommendation and priority order prior to submission to the VFBV Executive Officer.

District Councils have been encouraged to have nominations returned to them by Monday 21st November 2022, to allow time for the District Council prioritisation process prior to submission to the VFBV Executive Officer by Monday 28th November 2022.

With District Councils encouraged to wait until all nominations are received before ranking nominations in priority order and submitting all nominations in one batch to the VFBV Executive Officer.

All nominees must be endorsed by their local VFBV District Council.

 

Questions?

Contact your local VFBV Support Officer or State Councillors to find out more about the VFBV/CFA Joint Committees.

 

Proposed 2023 Joint Committee Meeting Dates

(These have not yet been endorsed, and are subject to change with specific committee meeting dates to be allocated)

Round One Meetings Saturday 25 February 2023
Sunday 26 February 2023
Saturday 1 April 2023
Sunday 2 April 2023
Round Two Meetings Saturday 24 June 2023
Sunday 25 June 2023
Saturday 1 July 2023
Sunday 2 July 2023
Round Three Meetings Saturday 26 August 2023
Sunday 27 August 2023
Saturday 9 August 2023
Sunday 10 August 2023
Round Four Meetings Saturday 18 November 2023
Sunday 19 November 2023
Saturday 25 November 2023
Sunday 26 November 2023
Monday, 26 September 2022 14:02

Feedback Requested - Draft CFA Asset and Building Naming

Written by

Formal consultation has commenced on a draft CFA Policy and corresponding Procedure to cover the proposed arrangements and requirements applying to the future naming of buildings, parts of buildings and other assets such as vehicles.

The proposed drafts are available as a download from the bottom of this page for consultation purposes.  

In developing these drafts, CFA has advised that they have considered the following things (not exhaustive):

  1. The government requirements for CFA to consider diversity in selection of name.
  2. Ensuring we have single defined, fair and transparent process for the selection of names across CFA.
  3. That existing names already on buildings and assets are unaffected. 
  4. The need for CFA to ensure there is a probity process (similar to existing awards).
  5. Ensuring there is an avenue of appeal available to members.

 

Members are encouraged to review the drafts and provide any feedback/suggestions/amendments including indicating support/non-support for the proposed documents.

Feedback can be provided by individuals, brigades and groups.  

All feedback is used to inform and influence formal VFBV positions as well as used to influence CFA positions and thinking during the deliberative process. If we need to use your feedback to demonstrate or illustrate the views of members, your personal details will not be shared with CFA, and feedback will always be de-identified to protect your privacy.

We encourage members not to wait until deadlines to provide feedback, but rather provide it as early as possible which will give us a chance to conduct further research that may assist us being able to advocate more strongly for your desired outcome.

Feedback is due by Wednesday 30th November, 2022.

All members are welcome and encouraged to provide feedback. If you have any questions, if you could please contact your local State Councillor or VFBV Support Officer in the first instance.

 


How to provide feedback:

It would be preferred that members provide feedback ASAP, so that it can be received incrementally, allowing us enough time to consolidate, identify trends and research issues raised by members. 

Feedback can be provided via:

  1. Emailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  2. Your local VFBV District Council or your local VFBV Support Officer

  3. By Post: 9/24 Lakeside Drive, Burwood East VIC 3151

  4. By Fax: (03) 9886 1618

Feedback does not need to be long or detailed, but if you do have the time to make substantive comment that is always welcome.

If you generally support a principle or policy, then a quick note letting us know would also be helpful. Similarly, let us know if you do not support it, or which aspects of it you don't support.

Where indicating non-support, it would be helpful to understand the key reasons why, and even a couple of brief bullet points would be adequate. Likewise, if you would prefer to provide a more detailed response, or mark-up and suggest changes to the documents, that is welcome also.

Your feedback will assist us form a VFBV position and response to the proposed changes and help us advocate on behalf of CFA volunteers. Please consider getting involved, and providing us your feedback ASAP.

Please remember to provide feedback in support as well as against. If we only hear from those who are against, it can be harder to determine the general comfort level of members with the proposals.

Formal consultation has commenced on an updated CFA Policy on Child Safety and Wellbeing. 

This policy has been updated to reflect the new Victorian Child Safe Standards that came into effect in 1 July 2022, and are in their six-month transition period.

Under the Victorian scheme, there are now 11 Standards, which include new requirements such as:

  1. Involving families and communities in efforts to keep children and young people safe
  2. A greater focus on safety for Aboriginal children and young people
  3. Managing the risk of child abuse in online environments
     

The new Victorian Standards are more prescriptive than the previous standards, with new minimum standards for each standard that all organisations must meet. Therefore, the CFA policy has been updated to reflect the new requirements.

The draft policy is available for download from the bottom of this page for the purposes of consultation.

 

Members are encouraged to review the draft policy and provide any feedback/suggestions/amendments including indicating support/non-support for the proposed changes.

Feedback can be provided by individuals, brigades and groups.  

All feedback is used to inform and influence formal VFBV positions as well as used to influence CFA positions and thinking during the deliberative process. If we need to use your feedback to demonstrate or illustrate the views of members, your personal details will not be shared with CFA, and feedback will always be de-identified to protect your privacy.

We encourage members not to wait until deadlines to provide feedback, but rather provide it as early as possible which will give us a chance to conduct further research that may assist us being able to advocate more strongly for your desired outcome.

Feedback is due by Monday 7th November, 2022.

All members are welcome and encouraged to provide feedback. If you have any questions, if you could please contact your local State Councillor or VFBV Support Officer in the first instance.

 


How to provide feedback:

It would be preferred that members provide feedback ASAP, so that it can be received incrementally, allowing us enough time to consolidate, identify trends and research issues raised by members. 

Feedback can be provided via:

  1. Emailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  2. Your local VFBV District Council or your local VFBV Support Officer

  3. By Post: 9/24 Lakeside Drive, Burwood East VIC 3151

  4. By Fax: (03) 9886 1618

Feedback does not need to be long or detailed, but if you do have the time to make substantive comment that is always welcome.

If you generally support a principle or policy, then a quick note letting us know would also be helpful. Similarly, let us know if you do not support it, or which aspects of it you don't support.

Where indicating non-support, it would be helpful to understand the key reasons why, and even a couple of brief bullet points would be adequate. Likewise, if you would prefer to provide a more detailed response, or mark-up and suggest changes to the documents, that is welcome also.

Your feedback will assist us form a VFBV position and response to the proposed changes and help us advocate on behalf of CFA volunteers. Please consider getting involved, and providing us your feedback ASAP.

Please remember to provide feedback in support as well as against. If we only hear from those who are against, it can be harder to determine the general comfort level of members with the proposals.

Monday, 12 September 2022 16:10

September 2022 Newsletter

Written by

Fire Behaviour Index  
By Adam Barnett, VFBV Chief Executive Officer   

September not only heralds the end of winter, but this year marks the official commencement of the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System that officially launched on 1 September nationwide.

Following extensive community consultation and research, public feedback indicated that the old system was difficult to comprehend, had too many levels, and that insufficient numbers of people act on the advice provided. Consistent community feedback indicated common misconceptions, including the false perception that fire danger ratings were designed to predict the likelihood of a fire, rather than describe what the likely fire behaviour would be for the predicted conditions.

Throw in the fact that different jurisdictions used different ratings and inconsistent wording, it was no wonder the feedback confirmed that people were having trouble knowing what to do and how to interpret the old ratings.

The new system was developed to address these weaknesses and was designed to be easier to understand, uses fewer levels, intuitive colours, action-oriented messages and more simplified terms and language that it is hoped will increase the likelihood of people acting on fire danger rating information.

And being a national program, the new system is being implemented across every State and Territory bringing long overdue nationally consistent public facing messaging and rating thresholds.

While we have been served well by the McArthur meter developed by A. G. McArthur and the CSIRO, more recent fire seasons over the last decade began to reveal fires were more frequently experienced beyond the scale the system was designed for. The 2009 Black Saturday fires were a case in point and led to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommending a revision of the fire danger ratings system. A short-term fix of adding ‘catastrophic’ or ‘code red’ to the scale was an attempt to adjust for the extreme conditions at the higher end of the scale.

The new system seeks to utilise the latest science, knowledge and data to improve the predictions of fire behaviour and predict the relevant threats more accurately. Whereas the McArthur system calculations were based mostly on fire weather and relied on two fuel indices (forest and grass) the new system takes inputs across 22 different fuel types that will then calculate eight broad fire behaviour models and indices which better reflect our diverse vegetation and ecosystems and can be applied to the relevant area.

Behind the scenes, we will use the fire behaviour numerical index scales to support planning and preparedness level related decisions, while for public facing communications, the calculated index will be translated to a Fire Danger Rating via one of the four simple categories to convey to the public a simple rating that communicates the expected level of danger should a vegetation fire start, along with corresponding actions they should take to ensure their personal safety. (There is also a ‘no rating’ level.)

And while there is a high level of confidence that the new system will be easier to comprehend and lead to better community engagement, each of us have a very important role to play in helping educate our communities.

Knowing what the ratings are is one thing – educating our communities on how to use the ratings to adapt their behaviours is something else altogether. This will require significant and concerted effort, and the linkages that volunteer brigades enjoy within their communities can be leveraged to help drive this behavioural change.

The first step is to ensure each member is familiar with the new system and how it works. This is not only important for your own knowledge, but to assist you should you get a question from the public. It can also help you explain the changes to your friends and family. Online training programs are available now via the CFA learning system that members can undertake immediately. There are currently two courses to choose from, and the introductory course which is made up of two modules is recommend for all members and will take approximately 60 minutes to complete.

The second course is an intermediate course designed to provide a more detailed explanation and is designed for active planners and decision makers. Completion of the introductory course is a prerequisite for the intermediate course and adds another 60 minutes for those who wish to undertake it.

While both courses are publicly available through various sites, it is recommended you undertake them via the CFA online learning system so that your training and course completion is recorded in your training records. Simply visit www.members.cfa.vic.gov.au and click on the AFDRS (Australian Fire Danger Rating System) picture on the homepage after you log in. This will provide links to the learning hub where you can access the courses.

From an internal perspective, it is important to note that this year the Chief Officer will be using a combination of the old Fire Danger Index alongside the new rating system (Fire Behaviour Index) to determine operational readiness and total fire ban declarations. This will allow the accuracy of the new system to be tested during the systems introductory stages. And like all new systems, there are sure to be some teething problems as the new systems are bedded in, and we may see a slight increase in TFB’s.

Rather than assume these are anomalies, it is equally plausible that with all the new data and inputs that the system now uses to calculate the fire behavioural index, these may represent a more accurate assessment of conditions. Only time will tell.

On the positive side, significant work has been undertaken to run the prototype system in parallel using the last 3 – 4 years of data to fine tune the accuracy of the new system and understand its consequences over seasons just past. This has been invaluable and has allowed the system to be tweaked based on historical records and patterns. So while it is a new system, the national board has a high level of confidence in its implementation.

Sadly, there has been some delays in the procurement of new Fire Danger Rating signs. The replacement of electronic signs is being managed by EMV, with CFA managing the manual roadside signs. Given the large number of signs across the state, these are being progressively replaced starting in areas likely to have fire danger periods declared first, starting in the Northwest. All signs are expected to be replaced by early December.

If you have any concerns for a sign located in your brigade area, you can check on the estimated timing by checking in with your District staff. All old signs should have been decommissioned – and have a holding sticker placed over the board notifying the public that it is due to be replaced shortly.

Brigades are also requested to ensure that any old publications, brochures or pamphlets showing the old ratings are removed from brigade and community locations. You can order replacement publications from your District Community Engagement Coordinator through your district office.

Also available is the CFA AFDRS Stakeholder kit, which will be especially useful to those brigades who use social media, as the kit includes social media content and key messages to assist with your communications. This kit is also available via the VFBV website.  

VALE

On the 2nd September 2022, I and representatives of the VFBV Board attended the State memorial service held to honour the life of the Honourable Jane Garrett. The service celebrated her life and achievements, and we paid our respects on behalf of all CFA volunteers to a brave and inspiring Minister, who will be sorely missed.

HER MAJESTY

On the day of going to press, we woke to the sad news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.

The magnificence of her historic reign as the longest serving monarch was only eclipsed by her enduring lifelong devotion to duty that was an inspiration to all.

Her steadfast duty, service and loyalty to her people over her lifetime was most admirable and are qualities that particularly resonate with CFA volunteers. The personal kindness she extended to Victorians and other Australian’s during natural disasters will be forever remembered and cherished, as too will the support and respect she has always shown towards emergency services personnel.

This was best embodied by her creation of the National Emergency Medal following the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday fires.

In tradition dating back centuries, and on behalf of all CFA volunteers, I solemnly affirm the Queen is dead, Long live the King.


 

Affiliation Prize Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the 2022/23 VFBV Affiliation Prize Draw!

Thanks to all Brigades/Groups who paid their 2022/23 affiliations prior to 31st July this year thus qualifying for the 2022/23 VFBV Affiliation Prize Draw. The winners along with their selected prizes are:

1st prize - Toolern Vale Fire Brigade (District 14) - G-Force Nozzle with Quick connect coupling; Gated Wye with Stortz Inlet and quick connect outlets;

2nd prize - Tungamah Group (District 22) – five helmet torches and carry case;

3rd prize – Dartmoor Fire Brigade (District 4) – Root Soaker & Bag;

4th prize – Stratford Fire Brigade (District 10) – TFT Break Apart Nozzle.

Thank-you to GAAM Emergency Products and Powdersafe for donating these great prizes.

Remember, by affiliating you are making a vital contribution to the important work we do on behalf of all CFA volunteers. Advocacy, support and the provision of trusted and credible advice are all strengthened when members work together and share a unity of purpose.

If you are not sure whether your Brigade or Group’s VFBV Affiliation and Welfare Fund subscription are up to date, please contact your Secretary urgently, as we encourage all those who have not yet affiliated to do so as soon as possible.

For any enquiries, contact your VFBV Support Officer, State Councillor or call us at the office on 03 9886 1141.

 

Fiskville Redress Scheme
VFBV has welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government of the establishment of a Fiskville Redress Scheme to support Fiskville affected persons.

The scheme opened on Monday 5th September 2022, and addresses a key recommendation from the 2016 Parliamentary Enquiry into Fiskville which recommended that the Victorian Government establish a dedicated redress scheme offering a range of options such as access to health services, a financial payment and a meaningful apology.

In the same way that firefighting is an inherently dangerous activity, the exposure to toxins released during combustion and sometimes the agents used to extinguish fires also pose a large risk to firefighters. The historic Fiskville experience demonstrates that these toxic exposures can be present in hot fire training scenarios in just the same way as random fire events.

The scheme is accepting applications from people who had prolonged exposure to toxic substances at the former Fiskville Training College site between 1971 and 2015. The scheme offers a range of options including a financial payment, and access to mental health counselling and medical health support. You can contact the schemes support team for a confidential discussion or assistance with your application: 1300 315 198 Between 9:00 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday (excluding public holidays) or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The scheme is administered by the Department of Justice and Community Safety and is independent of CFA. To download an application form, or review further information, you can visit https://www.vic.gov.au/redress-fiskville 

 

Dates for 2023 State Champs confirmed

The dates for next year’s CFA/VFBV State Firefighter Championships have now been confirmed.

The 2023 State Championships will again be held over two weekends in Mooroopna in District 22, with the Urban Junior events on March 18 and 19 and the Urban Senior, Rural Senior and Junior events on March 25 and 26.

The championships attract a broad range of members and act as the largest annual ‘celebration of CFA’ and include community events, displays, skills maintenance opportunities and a large CFA corporate attendance.

Competing in championship is now more flexible than ever.

VFBV is encouraging brigades to enter for next year’s Championships with particular focus on encouraging brigades who have not competed for some years to put together a team, combine a group of brigades for a team or enter into just specific events if they don’t want to compete across the whole program.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like more information on entering a team for 2023 State Championships.

 

Quarterly Supplement

Included with the September 2022 edition of Fire Wise is the latest edition of the VFBV Quarterly Supplement. 

The Quarterly Supplement contains 16 pages of relevant news, updates, information on current issues being pursued by VFBV on behalf of members. It also includes additional resources or updates that are available via our website. 

An electronic copy of the Quarterly Supplement can be downloaded here

Brigade Captains and Secretaries, Group Officers and Group Secretaries as well as VFBV delegates are requested to please take the time to read this and future editions, and table at your upcoming meetings for the benefit and knowledge of your members.

 

AGM
This years annual general meeting will be held on the afternoon of Sunday 2nd October 2022 following State Council.

In order to comply with health guidelines and contact tracing requirements, any delegates intending to attend this year’s AGM are required to register their details with the VFBV office by 30 September.

The office can be reached via (03) 9886 1141 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Tony’s Trek

On 30 September 2022, Inspector-General for Emergency Management (and Chair of the Emergency Services Foundation) Tony Pearce will start Tony’s Trek – a 1440km solo charity walk through Victoria to support new mental health initiatives to benefit our emergency management community.

Covering the area from Melbourne to Mallacoota and across the Alpine Range to Wodonga before heading back to Melbourne, Tony’s Trek aims to raise awareness and support for building collaborative sector-wide mental health initiatives led by the Emergency Services Foundation (ESF).

VFBV encourages brigades and groups to get behind Tony’s Trek, and think about how they might be able to assist with fundraising and promoting the initiative as Tony’s Trek makes its way across the route.

Posters and promotional material are available to support brigades get behind this important initiative. To find out more, donate or get involved go to www.esf.com.au/tonys-trek/ 

 

Recent articles on the VFBV website
Vale – Her Majesty The Queen

2023 State Championships

R U OK?

Open for Consultation Dashboard

Australian Fire Danger Rating System

Volunteers welcome Fiskville Redress Scheme

 

Enjoy the VFBV monthly newsletter?
If you enjoy reading the VFBV newsletter each month, why not share it with your fellow volunteers?

Either share this page with others who may enjoy the articles or encourage other volunteers to sign up to receive their own copy via email each month here

Thursday, 01 September 2022 11:11

AFDRS

Written by

What is AFDRS (Australian Fire Danger Rating System)

The new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) is consistent across Australia, easier to understand and will provide clearer advice on how to stay safe.

The new system has four rating levels instead of the previous six:

Moderate
High
Extreme
Catastrophic

AFDRS

Clear, easy to follow advice is associated with each level. 

As it's a national system it will not matter where you live, travel or are across the country, Fire Danger Rating will be communicated the same. AFDRS was officially launched on 1st September 2022.

 

Calculating operational readiness triggers and Total Fire Ban declarations under the AFDRS

The AFDRS will be launched in September 2022 and the Bureau of Meteorology fire danger forecasts will be presented in the new format with immediate effect.

Victorian fire agencies will continue to calculate the old Fire Danger Index (FDI) to consider alongside the new AFDRS to determine operational readiness triggers and Total Fire Ban declarations.

This measure will continue to test the accuracy of the AFDRS in its introductory phase against varying fire seasons and conditions.

 The CFA Chief Officer will consider both the AFDRS and the old fire danger ratings when making Total Fire Ban declarations.  

 

Fire Danger Signs update

Brigades and community members will soon see some changes occurring to the roadside Fire Danger Signs. Each road sign across the state will be covered with a sticker, stating that “Fire Danger Ratings are changing”. The arrow and padlocks will be removed from the signs when the sticker is installed. New hardware will be issued when the signs are physically replaced.

Replacement of signs will commence in September. Works will commence in areas likely to have fire danger periods declared first, starting in the North West with all signs being replaced by early December.

If your brigade has a query about signage location, please speak to your District staff.

 

CFA community facing resources updated for AFDRS

The CFA website now shows Fire Danger Ratings information detailing the new rating levels and the publications that have been updated to reflect AFDRS are now all available. Publications that have not been reviewed to date have been removed from the website until they can be updated to avoid any public confusion.

Brigades that wish to order new Publications should contact their District Community Engagement Coordinator, directly.

As we approach summer it is important to ensure that current publications are available to the community. Please ensure that outdated publications are removed from Brigade and community locations. All new publications have a version and date produced clearly visible on the cover of the document.

A CFA AFDRS Stakeholder Kit is now available. In this kit we have outlined all of the AFDRS primary key messages including social media content (sorted by theme) , relevant copy and assets to go with each post. It has been developed to support our stakeholders to promote AFDRS messages through their own channels and networks. Please feel free to share this kit far and wide with your networks.

The Stakeholder Kit is available from here.

 

More Information

More information, including frequently asked questions is available to CFA members via: https://www.members.cfa.vic.gov.au/programs/afdrs 

 

Friday, 09 September 2022 12:25

VALE - HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

Written by

 

 

Page 6 of 31
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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