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Wednesday, 11 May 2022 16:32

May 2022 Newsletter

Written by

Time well spent 
By Adam Barnett, VFBV Chief Executive Officer

As we put another fire season behind us, this would typically be the time of year that many brigades move into their planning and recovery stages.

With all brigade officer positions being two-year terms, 50 percent of brigades will have had or will hold their elections over the coming weeks in preparation for current terms expiring on June 30. For many of those 606 brigades, this will be a period of reflection on the previous two years, as well as discussions on the hopes and aspirations of the brigades and its members for the next two as current leaders and prospective leaders consider their roles.

For many, and with the fire danger period behind us, it is also a chance for brigades to enjoy the reduced tempo that this time of year often brings, and which typically allows brigades, groups and members to rest up and recover from the fire season just gone, while juggling the normal day-to-day incidents that keep us busy all year long.

It is with this in mind that I urge brigade and group management teams to consider spending some time considering a long-term reengagement strategy for members who may have been left behind over the last couple of tumultuous years of reform, change and the pandemic.

While the pandemic in particular has made training and getting together really difficult and no doubt has impacted on the morale and cohesion of brigades and groups, for many the effects of the pandemic are still very much in play.

While public COVID restrictions are being wound down, there are many still under immense pressure dealing with the knock-on effects, such as those frontline workers still involved in areas under crisis like our health system and other sectors experiencing high absenteeism due to vaccine mandates and isolation restrictions. Employers and self-employed are also grappling with these same pressures.

There are also members continuing to care for high-risk individuals or family members who need to continue exercising self-discipline for their own risk settings.

In other words, brigades will need to plan long-term and be patient in order to strike a good balance between supporting members who continue to have life pressures, but also looking to ensure those members remain connected and engaged with CFA and the brigade in general to avoid them being left behind or worse, stepping away altogether.

I’ve had many a conversation with a volunteer expressing to me they are looking to hang up their overalls. My advice has always been the same, in that you need to do what is best for you but that I urge you not to make a hasty decision during a crisis, as things can change quickly, and you don’t want to look back and regret it.

Rushing people to return before they are ready risks being the straw that breaks the camels back. But conversely - leaving it too late risks these members being further disenfranchised or disconnected from CFA and their brigade and potentially losing interest in ever wanting to return. This is a complex problem and will require many wise heads.

Given how hard and long it takes to train new members, and the importance of retaining experience and knowledge gleaned sometimes over many decades – there is great value in reaching out to members one-on-one and building an understanding of where they’re at and exploring options to reengage them at an appropriate pace.

Give yourself some time and space to allow your emotions to subside. The same for those impacted by vaccine mandates. While vaccination still remains the most effective means to protect you and your family, forced vaccinations hopefully won’t be here forever.

We are not alone in this regard. National bodies across the volunteer sector have all reported a sharp disruption to volunteerism during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in a report on volunteer involving organisations across Victoria, Volunteering Victoria reported a 50.2% decline in the volunteering participation rate, with a net decline of almost 64.1% in volunteering hours during the first few months of the pandemic.

For those who have needed to take a bit of a break from their CFA duties over the last little while, I would urge you to keep your brigade informed as to where you’re at, as a shared understanding and keeping the lines of communication open usually works wonders and helps the brigade or group forward plan upcoming training and addressing any capability gaps caused by your absence.

And with National Volunteer Week being held between the 16th and 22nd May, this is a great opportunity to reflect on why we volunteer in the first place. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’ which sums up CFA nicely.

In the 3V’s final report ‘Uncovering the hidden value’ which VFBV contributed to via the reference group, readers would recall that the value of emergency management volunteering was expressed through three concurrent layers.

These were emergency management value (the value of the contributions made by volunteers to the direct outcomes achieved before, during and after emergencies); the community strengthening value (the broader value that volunteers make that strengthen their communities and building community resilience); and the volunteer personal value which describes the value of volunteering to volunteers themselves.

All up, Lateral Economics estimated a conservative indicative annual value of between $1.9 to $2.5 billion dollars of public value generated by Victoria’s 100,000 emergency management volunteers, of which CFA volunteers make up more than half.

And to give you context of the incredible economic force that volunteers are, a group of academics from John Hopkins University, USA published a report in 2011 that sought to measure the economic value of volunteer work globally.

They found that nearly one billion people throughout the world volunteer, and they coined the term ‘Volunteer land’ to describe that if all those volunteers were comprised a single country – it would be the second most populous country in the world, with a total economic value of their volunteering US$1.348 trillion making their volunteer contribution the seventh largest economy in the world.

However, it is that final layer I mentioned earlier (the volunteer personal value) that often gets overlooked in our discussions amongst each other. From a volunteer perspective, this is understandable. Using the VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency survey as a guide, we know more than 90% of CFA volunteers state the reason for joining is to help the community they live in, or the sense of fulfilment they get from supporting their community in a meaningful way. This explains why we don’t frequently talk about what are the direct benefits to volunteers from their volunteering, as its not in our DNA to think of ourselves.

It goes without saying, that CFA volunteers are critical to Victoria’s emergency management arrangements, and they are the single largest collective of professionally trained and experienced first responders protecting lives and property across the State.

However, with many re-evaluating their lives and reflecting on what’s important to them or not, it perhaps is a good time to put it on the table and ensure the full spectrum of the value of volunteers is understood and discussed, especially amongst volunteers themselves.

Supporting this theory is Andrew Haldane, who as the Chief Economist of the Bank of England, gave a lecture to the Society of Business Economists in London in 2014 called ‘In giving, how much do we receive?’.

He claimed that the global ‘volunteer army’ would be larger even still if individuals had greater self-awareness of the private benefits of volunteering. He went on to state that research has shown that people tend systematically to under-estimate the positive effect for them of giving to others. He quotes an experiment where people were randomly assigned $20 to spend, either on themselves or others. Those who were told to spend it on others subsequently reported significantly higher subjective wellbeing, than those who spent it on themselves.

So, what is the personal value from volunteering? The 3V’s report attributed personal value amongst emergency management volunteers as: a sense of satisfaction from helping their local community; improvements to their own mental wellbeing particularly through purpose and social belonging; and improvements to their own skills and human capital.

More broadly, the UK government for example reports the perceived benefits from volunteers as reported directly by them as: enjoyment; a sense of personal achievement; making a difference; meeting new people; broadening their life experience; meeting different people from different backgrounds; improved mental wellbeing; increasing their confidence; learning new skills and experience; feeling less isolated; improving their physical health and improving their employment prospects from the increased skills learned while volunteering.

So, if for whatever reason you have stepped away from your CFA activities over the last little while, use this time to reflect on what’s important to you and consider reconnecting. No doubt, if you joined CFA to help others and your community, that is likely still a high motivator for you. And from a VFBV perspective, we will continue contributing to the change management journey of ensuring CFA is the best it can be.

While all change takes time, important progress is being made to ensure CFA’s focus is on its frontline service delivery and the people who deliver those services to form not only Victoria’s largest emergency service, but Victoria’s largest volunteer and community-based service dedicated to serving the community from the community.

Backing up the evidence from VFBV’s annual survey, the UK’s National Council for Voluntary Organisations published its national survey in 2019 on the volunteer experience called ‘Time Well Spent’ which is instructive reading for anyone operating within a management role of a volunteer agency, brigade or organisation.

Not only did it find that those who give more frequently, benefit more from the experience, but an overwhelming 93% of volunteers ranked ‘enjoyment’ as the highest of perceived benefits. This should act as a warning for CFA and other formal volunteering organisations where bureaucracy and administration is often quoted as strangling all the ‘fun’ out of the experience.

And while first responders would never describe attending emergency incidents as ‘fun’, the overall enjoyment and satisfaction from being part of an organisation that makes such as incredible difference to people’s lives and their perceived individual ability to contribute to that work and feel trained and supported in the services they provide should not be overlooked.

Researchers refer to the ‘tipping point’ of negative experiences that include: too much of their time being taken up; being out of pocket; feeling pressured by the organisation to do more; feeling unappreciated and being in conflict with others as significant contributors to dissatisfaction.

As I have often remarked during this reform journey, CFA volunteers will never walk away from helping their communities.

However, if they feel their time is being wasted or could be better spent elsewhere, or they are being taken for granted or exploited – they will leave CFA and find another worthy organisation within their communities where they can make a difference. CFA must be an organisation of choice that appeals both to today’s volunteer, as well as tomorrow’s. We shouldn’t stop until it is.


 

VESEP Grants
 A reminder that applications for this year’s Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program close on 31 May 2022 and are due to your District ACFO by this date.

You can access the VFBV VESEP Help Pack from the VFBV website or by calling the office. The help pack is full of info, tips and ideas to assist you put together your VESEP application.

Presumptive Legislation – Women’s Reference Group
VFBV is seeking expressions of interest from members to join a Presumptive Legislation Women’s Reference Group we are putting together to consider and advocate for the inclusion of female specific cancers into presumptive legislation. 

Any member that would like to contribute to this work, should please contact Mark Dryden via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

 

Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week will be celebrated between the 16th and 22nd May. On behalf of VFBV we pass on our deep gratitude, respect and appreciation to all CFA volunteers for the work you do in your communities 24/7.

During the pandemic CFA volunteers have maintained their world class service delivery, adapted community education activities to ensure they continue uninterrupted, and dealt with a fire season that bought fire, storm and floods also.

You have stood by your communities through thick and thin and without fuss. Hold your heads high. Thankyou and well done for your incredible dedication and service to the people of Victoria and beyond.

 

Victorian Budget
The State Government released its 2022/23 Victorian budget on Tuesday 3rd May predicting a 3.7% cut in budget across the Emergency Management Capability portfolio.

This year’s budget presents a very mixed bag for CFA and CFA volunteers, with the majority of new output funding within the Department of Justice and Community Safety portfolio (where Fire Services lives) allocated to Quarantine Victoria ($960 million) and additional funding for ESTA ($333 million.)

New funding for CFA includes $11 million over four years for volunteer driver training and licensing, and $16 million over four years to improve changing facilities at three training campus’ and 40 fire stations. VFBV advocated strongly for driver training in particular and welcomes both of these initiatives.

We are however very disappointed in the lack of funding for fire trucks and fire stations in this year’s budget. Two items fairly core to what a fire services does.

This lack of funding will continue to apply extreme pressure to CFA’s base budget, which is already chronically underfunded, and even more so following fire services reform. For example, despite being Victoria’s largest emergency service and operating 1,212 fire brigades across Victoria, CFA’s $807 million in government funding in 2020 was reduced to $351 million the following year after part implementation of reform. 

In analysis compiled by VFBV back in 2014 we calculated that CFA needed to spend $29 million per year on replacing fire trucks to progressively reduce the CFA fleet profile to arrest the decline and achieve an average age of 20 years by 2027. At the time, one in four CFA trucks were over 20 years old, with the oldest approaching 28 years, making it one of the oldest emergency service fleets in Australia. Since this analysis was conducted, government funding for capital replacement has been well below this $29 million.

This under investment continues to build pressure on an ageing fleet and leaves us with a situation with some fire trucks now exceeding 30 years of age with no end in sight. Volunteers deserve much better than this and VFBV expresses its disappointment on behalf of them and the communities they selflessly protect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Further analysis continues.

 

Volunteer Trainers
Want to help your fellow volunteers and contribute to CFA training by becoming a formal trainer and assessor? VFBV is continuing to pursue improvements to CFA’s Trainer and Assessor program, that has already achieved approval for new investment in training qualifications, professional development opportunities, access to workwear and PPC, and better access to teaching aids like tablets, computers and learning materials.

VFBV encourages members who are interested in becoming TAs to look on the Training page on Members Online or search ‘VTA’ on Members Online to find out more information and access nomination forms. Alternatively, your local Coordinator Learning Development at District will be able to assist and can explain the endorsement process.

 

VFBV Affiliation for 2022/23
Thank you for members’ continued strong show of support!

More than 93% of Brigades demonstrated strong support for VFBV’s important work representing and advocating for all CFA volunteers. Thank-you to all brigades and groups who affiliated last year.

In the coming weeks VFBV will be posting out the 2022/23 renewal notices for your Brigade/Group’s VFBV Affiliation and Welfare Fund subscriptions. These will be mailed out to Brigade and Group secretaries with a due date of 31 July 2022.

Those brigades that pay their VFBV affiliations before 30 June will automatically be entered into a draw to win one of four equipment prizes valued at approximately $4,000. The prizes have for the third year running been donated by GAAM Emergency Products and Powdersafe and we sincerely thank them for their continued generous support.

We also strongly encourage Brigades to subscribe to the VFBV Welfare Fund. The Welfare Fund is an exclusive benefit to affiliated members and VFBV fund all the administration and operating cost ensuring 100% of funds donated go directly to CFA volunteers experiencing personal hardship.

The Welfare Fund provides small grants of up to $5,000 to assist volunteer members and long serving ex members. The grants support members and their families experiencing personal financial hardship/crisis by providing welfare grants, on a needs-assessed basis, that may help alleviate stress impacting their ability to maintain involvement as a volunteer.

District Council’s continue to promote opportunities for members to contribute to the vital work that VFBV performs 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. Become involved today.

 

Position Vacant – Administration Assistant
VFBV is looking for an enthusiastic Administration Support Officer to join our small dedicated team supporting the peak body work of the Association in representing CFA volunteers to CFA, Government, business and instrumentalities.

Based at our Burwood office, and under the direction of the Administration Officer you will provide administrative, reception and office support across all business support activities and in many instances be the first point of contact to members, stakeholders and the public.

For more information on this role, please visit the VFBV website.

Applications close Sunday 15 May 2022.

 

Fire Wise – May 2022 online only edition
The May 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
International Firefighters’ Day 2022

Updating your vaccination status (update)

2022-23 VFBV - VESEP Help Pack

Position Vacant – Administration Assistant

 

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Wednesday, 04 May 2022 11:07

International Firefighters' Day 2022

Written by

International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed each year on the 4th May. This is also St Florian's Day, who is the patron saint of firefighters.

St. Florian is the Patron Saint of Firefighters and was an officer of the Roman army who was responsible for organising and leading firefighting brigades tasked to fight fires when Rome needed to protect itself against fire being used as an offensive weapon in the third century.

On St. Florian’s Day, firefighters, families and communities across the world take a moment to acknowledge firefighters commitment and dedication to their communities and their selfless duty to protecting lives and property.

Each year, CFA and VFBV come together to honour our fallen firefighters through the annual memorial service which is each year commemorated on the Sunday closest to May 4th. By proudly wearing and displaying blue and red ribbons pinned together or by participating in a memorial or recognition event, we show our gratitude and respect to firefighters and their families everywhere. The blue and red ribbons are linked to colours symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with – red for fire and blue for water.

This years service was held on Sunday 1 May at Federation University’s Churchill Campus in Gippsland and marked 40 years since the loss of Churchill firefighter Darren McLean. The 2022 Annual Memorial Service is available to view on CFA’s website for those who were unable to attend the service in person. https://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/news/cfa-remembers-fallen-members-at-state-memorial-event 

The Annual Memorial Service is a formal and reflective day to acknowledge and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their communities. It’s a time for reflection and just one of the ways we can remember the lives of 69 CFA members and 11 Country Fire Brigades Board firefighters (prior to the formation of CFA), who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives in service to protecting our communities. The full Role of Honour can be found on CFA’s website. https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about-us/who-we-are/history/roll-of-honour 

This year we also recognise the loss of Louise Hincks a volunteer firefighter from South Australia’s  Country Fire Service who lost her life in January while fighting a blaze near Lucindale. VFBV on behalf of all Victorian firefighters extends its deepest sympathies to Louise’s family, friends, brigade, peers and loved ones.

VFBV CEO, Adam Barnett spoke of the importance of the annual memorial service for not only the families, friends and loved once of the fallen, but for all CFA members.

“The annual memorial and St Florian’s Day is a time for us to come together and remember the 80 CFA firefighters who have selflessly given their lives to protect the lives of other Victorians.”

“While we pay tribute to those lost while protecting our communities, it is also a day to reflect on the importance of the work that CFA volunteers do on a daily basis to make Victorian communities safer.”

The 2023 Annual Memorial Service will be held on Sunday 7th May and will acknowledge and reflect on the 40th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday fires. Further details will be provided closer to the date.

 

 

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 15:51

April 2022 Newsletter

Written by

Vital and Valued 
By Adam Barnett, VFBV Chief Executive Officer 

April typically signifies the end of the fire danger period, with a rolling back of local restrictions as the weather justifies. And while this season has been comparatively mild, I want to acknowledge

how tired so many of you are.

Everything in 2021/22 just feels harder doesn’t it?

Change management is hard at the best of times. Throw in a pandemic along with sector and organisational reform, and we have the perfect storm. And given this season’s weather – this storm is both figurative and literal.

With so much going on, I am going to use this month’s column to flag some key initiatives to keep an eye out for.

 

VESEP GRANTS

This year’s Volunteer Emergency Service Equipment Program is now open.

The program is in its 22nd year and first started as the CSESP Program (Community Safety Emergency Support Program) in 2000 and was designed in close consultation with VFBV and volunteers.

Key to its success is locally driven priority setting, endorsement by District Planning Committee’s, operational support and endorsement by CFA Regional Management and a State-wide Steering Committee that reports directly to Government and includes VFBV and volunteer representatives who work together to monitor the program and ensure the programs integrity and transparency.

The program offers five categories; Volunteer amenities $<5K; Minor works $<120K; Operational equipment; Specialist appliances and Field Command Vehicles (FCV’s); and Tankers.

As usual, VFBV has published a help pack that offers practical suggestions and complements the EMV and CFA Guidelines and application forms. An electronic copy of our Help Pack is available via the VFBV website, or we can post you a paper copy by calling the office on (03) 9886 1141 or speaking with your local VFBV State Councillor or VFBV Support Officer.

Applications close on the 31st May 2022, with a ministerial announcement expected in September. Reach out if you need help with your application.

MEMORIAL SERVICE

The annual CFA Memorial Service is commemorated on the first Sunday closest to International Firefighter’s Day and St Florian’s day which both fall on May 4th.

This year’s annual memorial will therefore be held on Sunday 1st May. The service is being held in a regional location this year, and will take place in Churchill (Gippsland).

The annual service is a time for us to come together either in person or in spirit and remember and honour the 80 CFA firefighters (including 11 from pre-1944) who have selflessly given their lives to protect the lives of other Victorians.

And while the memorial is always solemn and reflective, it is also an important opportunity to reflect on our history as we pay tribute to those lost – and reflect on the importance of the work we each do in making our communities safer.

Details and how to RSVP can be found on both the VFBV and CFA websites.

 

AFSM NOMINATIONS

The Australian Fire Service Medal recognises distinguished service by members of fire services agencies across Australia. They are awarded twice a year, with the first awards presented in January on Australia Day, and the second round being awarded on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June.

CFA is currently deliberating on awards to be presented for the January Australia Day awards 2023. Nominations are confidential but can be made by anyone for anybody they know who deserves to be honoured. Self-nominations are not allowed. The closing date is May 1st, so please consider nominating a fellow member you feel is deserving.

A nominators guide is available via the CFA and VFBV websites.

 

FIRE SERVICES IMPLEMENTATION MONITOR

The Fire Services Monitor, the Hon Niall Blair attended the State Championships on Saturday 26th March. He and his staff had a booth, where members were invited to stop by for a chat and discuss their experiences of fire services reform as part of his formal monitoring activities. With more than 3,000 volunteers attending over the weekends, it was a great opportunity for him and his office to engage with volunteers and staff.

The monitor has advised that as part of his year two assessment methodology, he is intending on conducting individual station visits across Victoria over the next three months to obtain feedback and input about the progress of the fire services reform from brigade perspectives.

These visits will include co-located brigades as well as opportunities for surrounding brigades where members will have an opportunity to provide feedback face to face, as well as an opportunity to provide written feedback should members be unable to attend in person.

We will keep you updated on locations as we are advised, and members are encouraged to provide their observations and thoughts to the monitor to ensure lessons and views are captured as part of his review.

 

CFA BOARD NOMINATIONS

I want to thank all members who applied for the CFA Board positions advertised over the last three months. The VFBV Board and State Council processes are now complete.

Thank-you to all members who gave up their time and generously shared their knowledge and experience through the formal application process. Nominations are confidential and panels have now been provided to the Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon. Jaclyn Symes for consideration by the Governor in Council. Current Board terms do not expire until later in the year, so we are not expecting an announcement for a while yet.

The VFBV Board has recently discussed an annual process that would seek to encourage members to submit an expression of interest application for a Board position anytime throughout the year. This would allow more regular formal interviews to be conducted throughout the year at times more convenient and in anticipation of future vacancies.

This will ensure members don’t have to rely on short notice requests and will improve our ability to respond to short Government timelines in the future. We are committed to strengthening opportunities for volunteers to be involved and will keep working on ways to reduce any barriers.

 

VACCINE MANDATES

I want to acknowledge the workload and tensions that have accompanied the government vaccine mandates, and the difficulties it has presented for some people at the local levels, especially those in leadership roles. Following the relaxation of public restrictions, we are receiving an increased number of enquiries on the future status of emergency service vaccination mandates.

While mandates served an important role in the early stages of the pandemic, we acknowledge that people have questions around their proportionality under current circumstances as we transition to a ‘COVID normal’ type setting.

VFBV is continuing to seek advice from the Health Department and will continue to raise the issues that members are raising with us. I can certainly attest that the incidence of CFA transmission from emergency response activities has been extremely low, and the fact that we mostly work outside means our risk setting is far lower than some of our fellow emergency service partners. However, it is also important to recognise that the sector is reluctant for mandates to be piece meal amongst different agencies across the sector, so these conversations are difficult.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain a clear picture or roadmap that might provide the greater certainty that we are looking for, but we will certainly keep trying.

 

THANK-YOU

I want to thank all volunteers and staff who contributed to the running of this year’s highly successful CFA-VFBV State Firefighter Championships. Held over two weekends, Mooroopna certainly put on spectacular weather, and we were dazzled by strong performances by Melton and Springhurst in particular across both the urban and rural tracks.

There was a real positivity amongst everyone attending, with everyone I think so grateful for the opportunity to be back face to face. Our COVID-safe preparations and precautions paid off, and I am incredibly proud of everyone’s discipline and sacrifices made to ensure the event was conducted as safely as possible.

CFA hosted a marvellous corporate display, with the best attendance I can remember from a wide range of directorates and units across CFA providing opportunities for members and the public to explore the various offerings from new truck and equipment designs to bushfire modelling, new PPC and workwear displays and the popular virtual reality demonstrations. It was also great to acknowledge the attendance of members of parliament and local government from right across the political spectrum.

The Saturday night torchlight parade, featuring both rural and urban brigades was spectacular, with more than 15,000 members of the general public cheering our firefighters along as part of the Illuminate Shepparton festival. The festival featured mesmerising laser light installations, live music and incredible food. The warm reception epitomised the public respect for the professional work that CFA volunteers do every day of every year.

Thank-you especially to the more than 300 volunteer judge and track officials who volunteered their time over the entire weekends to keep the tracks running smoothly and allowing brigades to shine as they demonstrate their skills and fitness.

As you can tell from this brief update, there is plenty going on and plenty to keep us busy. As the season winds down - take care of yourselves and use the change in seasons to slip in some rest.

For everyone that contributed over the heightened fire danger period, whether on the front line or behind the scenes – thank-you and well done. As we move now to our winter campaigns and educate the public on home fire safety, please know that the incredible work you do in your communities is both vital and valued.


 
2022 State Championships

This year’s State Firefighter Championships saw both the Melton and Springhurst brigades come out on top at the Championships held in Mooroopna during March.

Melton first had success as runaway winners at the State Urban Junior Championship held on the weekend of 19 and 20 March. This weekend saw over 200 competitors from 37 teams competing.

The following weekend, 26 and 27 March, Melton again won by a significant margin to take out the State Urban Senior Championship. While Springhurst won both the State Rural Senior and Junior Championships on the same weekend, with Truganina taking out the Division 2, with an impressive showing across the Aggregate Board.

The second weekend saw close to 600 competitors take part from 120 teams. Full results of the 2022 State Championships can be found on pages 10 to 12 of the April edition of Fire Wise or from the VFBV website.

2022 also saw the return of the Torchlight Procession through the streets of Shepparton on Saturday 26th March in conjunction with the Illuminate Shepparton festival for the first time since 2019.

The State Championships would not be possible without the support of more than 300 judges and officials who volunteer their time over the two weekends. VFBV also passes on its appreciation to competitors, coaches, supporters and staff. Special thanks to the State Championships Committee, which consists of CFA management, members of VFBV’s Rural and Urban State Competition Committees, volunteers and staff for their hard work and efforts in the preparation and management of the two weekends of competition.

We also pass on our appreciation to the Greater Shepparton City Council for their continued support of the Championships, with this year marking the 10th time our Championships have been held in either Shepparton or Mooroopna since 1975.

VFBV’s two competition committees will be meeting in the coming months to review the championships in preparation for the 2023 State Championships, if any brigades and competitors would like to provide any feedback they can do so by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Presumptive Legislation – Women’s Reference Group
VFBV is seeking expressions of interest from members to join a Presumptive Legislation Women’s Reference Group we are putting together to consider and advocate for the inclusion of female specific cancers into presumptive legislation.  

Any member that would like to contribute to this work, should please contact Mark Dryden via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

 
Affiliation
Thank you for members’ continued strong show of support!

Again in 2021-22 CFA Brigades and Groups have showed that is it more important than ever that volunteers have a strong, united, independent and credible voice. More than 93% of Brigades demonstrated strong support for VFBV’s important work representing and advocating for all CFA volunteers. Thank-you to all brigades and groups who affiliated last year.

In the coming weeks VFBV will be posting out the 2022/23 renewal notices for your Brigade/Group’s VFBV Affiliation and Welfare Fund subscriptions. These will be mailed out to Brigade and Group secretaries with a due date of 30 June 2022.

To thank Brigades and Groups for their support, those who pay their VFBV affiliations before 30th June will automatically be entered into a draw to win one of four equipment prizes valued at approximately $4,000.

The prizes have for the third-year running been donated by GAAM Emergency Products and Powdersafe and we sincerely thank them for their continued generous support. For further details of the prizes on offer, see the flyer included with your renewal notices.

As well as affiliating, we strongly encourage Brigades to subscribe to the VFBV Welfare Fund.

The Welfare Fund is an exclusive benefit to affiliated members and VFBV fund all the administration and operating cost ensuring 100% of funds received go directly to CFA volunteers experiencing personal hardship.

The VFBV Welfare Fund provides small grants of up to $5,000 to assist volunteer members and long serving ex members. The grants support members and their families experiencing personal financial hardship/crisis by providing welfare grants, on a needs-assessed basis, that may help alleviate stress impacting their ability to maintain involvement as a volunteer.

District Council’s continue to promote opportunities for members to contribute to the vital work that VFBV performs 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. Become involved today. 

 

Position Vacant – Administration Assistant
VFBV is looking for an enthusiastic Administration Support Officer to join our small dedicated team supporting the peak body work of the Association in representing CFA volunteers to CFA, Government, business and instrumentalities.

Based at our Burwood office, and under the direction of the Administration Officer you will provide administrative, reception and office support across all business support activities and in many instances be the first point of contact to members, stakeholders and the public.

For more information on this role, please visit the VFBV website.

Applications close Sunday 15 May 2022.

 
RCH Good Friday Appeal
A defining sight of the Good Friday Appeal is the thousands of volunteers standing at traffic lights, in camping grounds and clubs and at many events, shaking the Good Friday Appeal tins as people open their hearts and their wallets to support.

You can read more about the RCH Good Friday Appeal, the face of the Good Friday Appeal and about some of the CFA Brigades who will be shaking tins this weekend on the VFBV Website.

Donations can also be made via the Virtual Tin Shake, visit the Virtual Tin Shake website to find your closest brigade with a virtual tin.

 

Fire Wise – April 2022 online only edition
The April 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
CFA Annual Memorial Service 2022

RCH Good Friday Appeal

AFSM Nominations 2023

Updating your Vaccination Status (Update)

VESEP 2022/23 VFBV Help Pack

Position Vacant – Administration Assistant

2022 State Urban Junior Championship Results

2022 State Rural Senior Championship Results

2022 State Rural Junior Championship Results

2022 State Urban Senior Championship Results

A Commitment to Service

A Passion to lead CFA’s Next Generation

Inspirational CFA Women

 
Enjoying 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

 

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 12:03

CFA Annual Memorial Service 2022

Written by

The Annual Memorial Service will be held on Sunday 1 May in Churchill to honour firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This year’s memorial service will mark the 34th event, which has been held since 1987, with the only cancellation being 2020 due to the pandemic.

Location: The service will be held at the Auditorium, Building 3E, Federation University – Gippsland Campus Northways Road, Churchill Vic 3842

Date: 2.00pm on Sunday 1 May

Dress: CFA dress uniform or smart casual

The 2022 Annual Memorial Service for Firefighters is a free event, to attend please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 0475 990 030 by Tuesday 26 April 2022. The event will including appropriate Covid-19 safety precuations.

Family members and friends, CFA and Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) executives as well as government representatives will come together to lay wreaths, light candles, remember lives and honour the personal sacrifices and commitment firefighters make each and every day.

Junior CFA members will also attend the memorial service and will be actively involved throughout the ceremony by assisting wreath layers and patrons.

 

VFBV CEO Adam Barnett spoke about the importance of the annual memorial service for not only the families, friends and loved ones of the fallen, but for all members.

“The annual memorial service is a time for us to come together either in person or in spirit to remember and honour the 79 CFA firefighters (including 11 from pre-1944) who have selflessly given their lives to protect the lives of other Victorians.

"And while the service is always solemn and reflective, it is also an important opportunity to reflect on our history as we pay tribute to those lost and reflect on the importance of the work we all do in making our communities safer.”

 

Members are encouraged to RSVP via: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Matt Walton on 0475 990 030

 

Tuesday, 12 April 2022 11:04

Updating your Vaccination Status (Update)

Written by

This article was first published on the 14th October, and is regularly updated with Booster requirements for Emergency Services Workers. This page reflects information as of (Mandatory Vaccination [Specified Workers] Order 2022 [No. 6], dated 12th April 2022.)


For the information of members, CFA is obligated under the Pandemic Health Directions to collect and store your vaccination status. CFA is requesting that all members please update their CFA record with their COVID-19 Vaccination status as soon as possible.

Members are reminded to update your CFA record after you receive your booster.

You can do so via the CFA website, or by calling CFA’s Service Delivery Reporting Centre via (03) 9262 8663 between 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week.

Under Victoria’s new pandemic management framework, Chief Health Officer (CHO) directions have been replaced with Pandemic Orders that are now made by the health minister. CFA and other emergency service volunteers like the SES are all classified as ‘Emergency Service Workers’ under the current pandemic orders.

The order currently in place as at writing and relating to CFA is the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Specific Workers) Order 2022 (No.6) which commenced on 12 April 2022 and ends on the 12 July 2022. This order covers booster deadlines.

Under this order, emergency service workers who received their second dose on or before the 12th September last year – and who wish to continue to work outside their normal place of residence - are required to have received their 3rd dose (booster) by the 12 March 2022.

Members can view all Pandemic orders for themselves at: health.vic.gov.au

Members can update their status via any of the following methods: 

 

  1. ONLINE

    Members are encouraged to visit https://www.members.cfa.vic.gov.au/ and input their own status.


  2. BY PHONE

    If you can't access the website, or don't have a CFA online ID, you can call (03) 9262 8663 and provide your details over the phone. 

    This number is being staffed by CFA's Service Delivery Support Centre (SDRC) who are the same people that you call to enter your Fire Reports, and is open between 9am to 9pm.


  3. DISTRICT STAFF

    Your Brigade Administrative Support Officer (BASO) can also assist you. They are contactable through the usual arrangements, and details can be found in your District Contact Book.


  4. BRIGADE

    Brigade Captains, and your 1st Lieutenant can assist with the collection of data and are able to enter your details through their own CFA Brigades Online account. If Brigade Officer's are unsure of how to do this, they can contact their BASO for instructions.

 

Information on how to book your vaccine can be found here: Book your vaccine appointment | Coronavirus Victoria

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 10:10

RCH Good Friday Appeal

Written by

A defining sight of the Good Friday Appeal is the thousands of volunteers standing at traffic lights, in camping grounds and clubs and at many events, shaking the Good Friday Appeal tins as people open their hearts and their wallets to support.

CFA members have supported the Good Friday Appeal since 1951. Over those many years of support, CFA members have raised more than $35 million for the Good Friday Appeal, to support the Royal Children's Hospital with their life saving care for our kids.

In addition to the normal tin shakes and events, many brigades have registered for the Virtual Tin Shake. More than 160 volunteer brigades participated last year, and this year it is expected to grow even larger.  Visit https://www.virtualtinshake.com.au/sponsor?kw=CFA and search for your closest brigade with a virtual tin.

We share the following CFA stories that highlight volunteers strong connections and support with the Goof Friday Appeal.

 

Face of Good Friday becomes honorary CFA member 

CFA’s Doreen Fire Brigade has welcomed face of the 2022 Good Friday Appeal, Isla, as an honorary member of the brigade

Isla met with brigade members on Monday, 28 March, for a tour of the fire station and truck to help promote the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Good Friday Appeal.

The eight-year-old is in remission after spending half her life in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Today she met with members of the Doreen Brigade where she was decked out in firefighter gear, had a go using a fire hose and went for a ride in the fire truck.

After Isla’s day with the brigade she promptly turned to her mum and said “I need to come back here every weekend so I can take care of business.”

Isla is back to her bubbly self at school too and dancing to her little heart’s content.

The Appeal also has special significance to CFA Doreen Brigade, as two of Captain Robert Bury’s grandchildren have received life-saving care at the hospital.

Grandson Daniel was diagnosed in vitro with a blockage of the heart in 2001, and Granddaughter Charli was born at 26 weeks gestation, weighing just 740g.

Upon Daniel’s arrival he was immediately transferred to the RCH where he would become one of the first newborns to receive a pacemaker. This saved Daniel’s life.

When Daniel turned 18, he received a new pacemaker in a 10-hour operation.

“Daniel would not be alive today without RCH and their wonderful doctors,” Robert said.

Charli developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) and when she became septic was transferred to the RCH. Robert’s wife Carole said that every day was a trial.

“Eventuality after a full 6 months she was well enough to come home. Charli has had several follow ups at RCH and had revision surgery,” Carole said.

“Without the RCH and their wonderful dedicated and caring doctors we would not have these two amazing grandchildren”.

Doreen, along with Epping CFA, will be collecting again this year at the intersection of Cooper and High Streets, Epping. Over the years they have raised a total of $171,000 and this year have set a target of $20,000.

“We run a bit of a competition amongst the rattlers to see who can collect the most from every mode of transport including buses, taxis, ambulances, police cars, fire trucks, motorcycles, horses, and pedestrians”, Robert said.

“At the end of Good Friday we like to escort the collection into the city to meet up with other CFA Brigades whilst we await the final tally of the day’s collection.”

Good Friday Appeal Executive Director, Rebecca Cowan said they’re so grateful to CFA for their continued support of the Good Friday Appeal.

“For 71 years, CFA have been supporting the Good Friday Appeal in raising much needed funds for The Royal Children's Hospital and every year we are inspired by their generous contributions,” Rebecca said.

“So many of our CFA fundraisers have a personal connection to The Royal Children’s Hospital, making the partnership even more significant. We’re grateful to the CFA for all their hard work and support and are incredibly thankful to every Victorian who donates to their local CFA”.

CFA members have supported the Good Friday Appeal since 1951 (71 years), volunteering their time and raising funds for the hospital and have raised more than $35 million. The 2022 Good Friday Appeal will be held on Friday 15 April.

To find out more on how you can donate please visit: https://www.virtualtinshake.com.au/fundraisers/EppingandDoreenFireBrigades/virtual-tin-shake

 

Knox Group aims high for the kids

CFA’s Knox Group of brigades has a long tradition of raising money for the Good Friday Appeal and this year will be no different.
 

Over the years the group has just come short of their ultimate goal of reaching $40,000, so this year they are determined to reach that figure.

Knox Group consists of eight fire brigades covering Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Montrose, Rowville, Scoresby, The Basin and Upper Ferntree Gully.

Knox Group CFA Secretary Darryl Cardona said he’s conducted a meeting with the group of brigades, the target has been set, and they’re all on board.

Boronia brigade volunteer Bill Ireland, who has been raising money for the Good Friday Appeal for the past 50 years, said this year he will again be collecting money outside the Boronia Hotel on the corner of Boronia and Dorset roads, as he does every year.

“Collecting money for the Good Friday Appeal gives me a great feeling. My son was a patient at the Royal Children’s Hospital and he endured many operations, so it’s my pleasure to help the hospital and the children out," he said.

It’s not just the adults raising money this year, with the Boronia Juniors actively involved. This year they will undertake a car wash at Fast Fuel Wantirna between 8am and 2pm, with hopes of raising $2,000 on the day.

Boronia brigade Captain Ramon Relph said they have been doing this car washing event for the past six years.

“We feel it gives our Juniors a sense of achievement and involvement when they collect for the RCH." Ramon said.

“As the Captain it makes me proud to see the Juniors give up their public holiday to help others. I have been in the CFA for over 20 years and look forward to Good Friday every year.”

Scoresby Fire Brigade will also be collecting money at BP Eastlink on the Thursday outbound, when half of Melbourne drive to the Mornington Peninsula and again on Good Friday.

The Basin brigade will collect at Burwood Hwy and Dawson St, near the popular 1,000 Steps at Upper Ferntree Gully, and Montrose brigade will be collecting on Canterbury Rd and Mountain Hwy.

Montrose brigade volunteer Eddie Tichelaar said they have local elderly residents walk up to them every year to donate money they have saved throughout the year. 

“Many no longer drive and enjoy just coming up and thanking CFA which is very generous,” he said.

Royal Children’s Hospital also has a special place in Eddie’s heart, with his daughter Danielle diagnosed with a congenital heart block four months before she was born.

“For the next 18 years the RCH was a second home for our family,” he said.

CFA members have supported the Good Friday Appeal since 1951, volunteering their time and raising funds for the hospital and have raised more than $35 million. The 2022 Good Friday Appeal will be held on Friday 15 April.

 

Sebastopol aiming high for the Good Friday Appeal

Sebastopol Brigade is close to hitting a total of $500,000 in money raised for the Royal Children’s Hospital this year.

Sebastopol Fire Brigade volunteers started collecting in 1977 with the driving influence being Lieutenant Bill Faulkhead, who had a child cared for at the Royal Children’s Hospital at the time.

Bill’s son Jarrod was born with Oesophageal Atresia where his throat was not correctly joined to his stomach and was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital ICU, where his life was saved.

In the first year, the brigade collected $407. Fast forward to 2022 and Sebastopol has collected a total of $482,569 in the 44 years to date.

 

Sebastopol Brigade’s 2nd Lieutenant of Training, David Walker said the brigade has a friendly rivalry with the Eureka Group.

“We have a trophy for whoever raises the largest amount of money each year and Sebastopol currently hold that trophy – we intend to win it again this year!” David said.

This year the volunteers will be doing tin collections on the Thursday and on Good Friday, asking local residents to again dig deep.

“We will have members out collecting at the Sebastopol Woolworths and Aldi stores in Albert St Sebastopol, and at Delacombe Woolworths in the Delacombe Town Centre leading up to Good Friday,” he said.

“We will also be running our usual Good Friday roadside collections and collecting at the fire station.”

In the past, Sebastopol has found novel ways to raise money. They have participated in radio auctions where they auctioned off a duck, paintings and a ‘has-been ‘ram.

One year, brigade members were shocked when Dame Edna Everage was in town and Lieutenant Bill Faulkhead turned up in his wife’s ballgown, shower cap and a shawl.

Sebastopol member Bill Cook says it’s a privilege to get up every Good Friday to collect money.

“It’s an absolute honour to raise money for one of the best children’s hospitals in the world,” he said.

“I know many parents who have had children in the Hospital and hearing their stories just eggs us on that little bit extra to support such a worthy cause.”

If Sebastopol hits the $500,000 mark this year, they will produce a celebration shirt recognising the 45th year.

CFA members have supported the Good Friday Appeal since 1951 (71 years), volunteering their time and raising funds for the hospital and have raised more than $35 million. The 2022 Good Friday Appeal will be held on Friday 15 April.

You can donate to Sebastopol’s tally here: https://www.virtualtinshake.com.au/fundraisers/SebastopolCFA/virtual-tin-shake

 

Moe brigade help raise over $1m for Good Friday Appeal

Moe Fire Brigade volunteers will once again be hitting the streets next weekend to add to the local tally of Good Friday Appeal funds raised.

Over the past 30 years Moe brigade raised money every year for the Royal Children’s Hospital, and to date the volunteers have contributed more than $1m from Moe and Newborough.

For some members it means more to them just rattling their tins.

As a child, Moe brigade’s 2nd Lieutenant Tara Paulsen suffered from croup which triggered severe asthma attacks and she was frequently admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital. After several visits they discovered that damp air was a trigger, allowing the condition to be treated.

“I’m so fortunate for these amazing doctors that I haven’t required any medication since I was 15,” Tara said.

“I am only here today because of the RCH and I’m not sure I can ever truly put into words how grateful I am.”

This year Tara, along with other members of Moe brigade, will be collecting outside the local McDonald’s roundabout at the corner of the Princes Highway and Lloyd St.

When they’ve finished they will take their collection tins to the Newborough Bowls Club where the coins will be tallied and then added to the town’s overall total.  

“The generosity of the community I see every year has helped save the lives of so many children,” Tara said.

Raising money for the Good Friday Appeal has also become a family affair, with Tara’s father John saving all his coins throughout the year and giving them to CFA fundraisers.

“For the past ten years, dad has riden his motorbike from Melbourne to Moe to put the money he’s kept into the CFA volunteers' tins,” Tara said.

CFA members have supported the Good Friday Appeal since 1951 (71 years), volunteering their time and raising funds for the hospital and have raised more than $35 million. The 2022 Good Friday Appeal will be held on Friday 15 April.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 09:46

AFSM Nominations 2023

Written by

Nominations are still open for the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) to be awarded as part of the 2023 Australia Day awards.

The AFSM honours the distinguished service of members of fire services, including CFA volunteers who make an exceptionable contribution to their communities. The AFSM recognises those whose service is above and beyond the normal zealous and faithful discharge of normal or ordinary service, either in the short or long term.

CFA volunteers are often modest and reluctant to seek out recognition for the service they have provided to their community and may not have a realistic appreciation of the impact they have had on CFA, their community, within VFBV or your Brigade or Group. They’re not in it for the honour or glory, but it’s up to each of us to ensure we take the time to say ‘thank-you’ to those people who have stepped up and help inspire us all to do better.

If you know a quiet achiever who has contributed to CFA, who goes above and beyond what could be reasonably expected of someone in a similar position, consider nominating them for an AFSM.  

The Australian Honours system has been designed to break down artificial barriers and open the Australian Honours to all parts of our society. Any member of the community can nominate any other Australian citizen for an award.

It is also critically important we encourage nominations for groups who are typically under-represented in Australian Honours like the AFSM. 

Women in particular are under-represented in AFSM’s awarded when we consider the tens of thousands of women within the fire services across the country. And while things are improving, much more can be done.

There are so many exceptional CFA women and men deserving to be recognised.

Members are encouraged to give some extra thought for those persons who are frequently overlooked for recognition. A common misconception is that only those members who have decades worth of service are recognised by the Honours system. The AFSM is not a long-service award, its sole criterion is distinguished service. And while prolonged service forms part of the key criteria, ‘prolonged’ is considered by the honour and awards committee’s to be taken in context as to what is considered ‘longer than usual’ and in context of what is ‘above and beyond’ the normal or ordinary service expected. For example, has the members contribution been in excess of expectations for a ‘normal’ member and over what duration? The Committee will consider the nature of the service or achievement within the context of a member’s service history when weighing up the various criteria.

This is especially important for women within CFA who may have their service overlooked simply because they haven’t been a Captain or Group Officer for 30 years. While these are important leadership roles – our service is a team environment, and everyone’s contribution is valued. 

Nothing should take away from the incredible achievement decade long service is, but the Honours system is designed to recognise those that make a significant contribution, and to represent the things that our communities believe to be deserving of recognition, including from those who are perhaps trailblazers for others to follow. Think of those people who have pushed the boundaries or have been first to reach and hold leadership positions that has been inspirational to those around them. For example, think of members who have overcome additional barriers, like English not being their first language and who have toiled away to learn the language and become masterful communicators designing new innovative community safety engagements to CALD communities and serving as a role model for other community members. Who are the people you look up to? Who are the people who have really made a difference in your Brigade or Group? 

Distinguished service includes service that is above and beyond and can be short-term or prolonged. It is service that can be exemplified by; responsibility for an outstanding event that has proven to be of significant benefit to the fire service or community; development of a new system, procedure or technique that is unique and made a significant contribution to the fire service; or outstanding leadership in the encouragement and development of others, particularly youth within the fire services.

While it can seem daunting to nominate a potential recipient, some guiding principles that could assist in completing a nomination for an AFSM are:

  • In what role(s) has the nominee excelled?
  • How has the nominee demonstrated service worthy of recognition?
  • How has the nominee’s contribution affected a particular field, locality, brigade, group or community at large?
  • Over what period has the nominee made a major commitment?
  • Has the nominee’s contribution been recognised elsewhere?
  • What makes this person stand out from others?
  • What specific examples can be provided to show how the nominee’s contribution(s) have been outstanding?

Nominations for the 2023 Australia Day awards close on 1st May 2022, all nominations submitted are strictly confidential. The person being nominated should not be approached for information or advised of the confidential nomination at any stage of the process. Self nominations are also not accepted.

CFA calls for applications twice a year for the AFSM, therefore it is also worthwhile considering additional nominations for future awards and to start preparing nominations now in order to be prepared.

 

CFA Resources

Honours and Awards Toolkit

Guide to Preparing Nominations for the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM)

AFSM Nomination Form

Want to discuss a potential nomination or need some more information? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

About the Australian Fire Service Medal 

Introduced in 1988, the Australian Fire Service Medal recognised distinguished service by members of Australian fire services and is awarded to both volunteer and paid members. The award recognised the distinguished service by members of a State or Territory Fire Service, a Fire Service of an agency of the Commonwealth, and the Fire Services of the External Territories of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling Island) and Norfolk Island.

The medal is awarded twice a year as part of the Australia Day award and Queen’s Birthday award announcements.

 

Criteria for the Australian Fire Service Medal 

To be considered for this award it would be expected that the nominee has given service beyond the norm exemplified by:

  1. Prolonged service distinguished by exceptional performance in a particular area that has proved significant benefit to the fire service; and one or more of the following.
  2. Responsibility for and management of an outstanding/exceptional event that has proven to be of significant benefit to the fire service, a community or community safety generally.
  3. Development of a new system, or procedure, or technique that is unique and has made a significant contribution to the fire service, a community or community safety generally.
  4. Outstanding leadership in the encouragement and development of others, particularly youth, within the fire service and the fostering and furthering of the aims of the fire service to the long-term benefit of the fire service and the community.
  5. Demonstrated creativity in the development and implementation of innovative changes that have made a significant contribution to the fire service, fire/emergency operations, or the interests of community safety.
Thursday, 07 April 2022 11:02

2022-23 VESEP - VFBV Help Pack

Written by

Applications should be submitted to your District ACFO by Tuesday 31 May 2022.

Applications are now open for the 2022-23 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP), with the closing date fast approaching. VFBV has updated its VESEP Help Pack to assist brigades and groups with their VESEP applications.

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 2000 projects totalling more than $150 million dollars, as a investment in maintaining and building volunteer capability by supporting volunteers through grants in five categories:

- Volunteer amenities under $5,000
- Minor works under $120,000^
- Operational Equipment
- Specialist Appliances and Field Command Vehicles
- Tankers*

^all minor works applications must be registered with the VESEP Land & Buildings Project Manager via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 17 May 2022Applications not pre-registered for review will not be considered by the Steering Committee. 

*as with previous years, CFA have advised that additions to the fleet will be afforded a low priority with only exceptional circumstances being considered by the Chief Officer. An Addition to the Fire Fighting Fleet form will be required to be completed and approved by the District ACFO and Regional DCO.

VFBV’s VESEP Application Help Pack is again available in 2022 to assist Brigades and Groups in completing their application, with the pack divided into easily downloadable sections at the bottom of this page.

 

VFBV VESEP Help Pack

Contains general information about VESEP and some handy hints on how to complete your application. 

Attachment 1

Application forms for Special Access Grant

The Special Access Grant can reduce or in some cases eliminate all together the Brigade/Group contribution. 

Attachment 2

CFA VESEP Guidelines 

The guidelines outline criteria, aims and requirements that Brigades/Groups need to consider for their application to be completed. The Guidelines have been updated in 2022. 

Attachment 3

CFA Application Forms

Provides Brigades and Groups with application forms for Part A: Vehicles and Operational Equipment, Part B: Volunteer Amenities and Minor Works, Addition to the Fire Fighting Appliance Fleet Operational Justification and FCV Vehicle Weight Proforma.

Appendix

CFA Information Sheets

Collates all information sheets produced by CFA to assist with Brigade and Group applications and ideas.


 

Key Dates

17 May 2022: Brigades/Groups applying for a grant for Minor Works, applications must be pre-registered with the VESEP Minor Works Project Manager, Land and Buildings Services via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

31 May 2022: Applications close, and should be submitted by this date to your District AFCO using the CFA application forms.

1 June - 13 June 2022: DPC meetings held to review and endorse applications.

September 2022: Anticipated Ministers announcement of successful projects.  

 

Additional Support

If you need any assistance with you Application please contact your local VFBV State Councillor, VFBV Support Officer of the VFBV Office. You can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

If you would like a printed copy of the VFBV 2022 VESEP Application Help Pack please call the VFBV office on 03 9886 1141 and we will post one out.

 

VFBV wishes all CFA Brigades and Groups well with your applications and thank you for your untiring service to Victoria!

Thursday, 07 April 2022 10:43

Position Vacant - Administration Assistant

Written by

VFBV is looking for an enthusiastic Administration Support Officer to join our small dedicated team supporting the peak body work of the Association in representing CFA volunteers to CFA, Government, business and instrumentalities.

Based at our Burwood office, and under the direction of the Administration Officer you will provide administrative, reception and office support across all business support activities and in many instances be the first point of contact to members, stakeholders and the public.

We are searching for an enthusiastic team player with initiative and “can do” attitude who possesses:

- Solid computer skills including Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel
- Professional and friendly communication skills and good phone manner
- Ability to work independently when given a task
- A high level of attention to detail 
- Pro active with a genuine willingness to learn
- Entry level understanding of administrative functions 

Drivers licence is essential. A Police and Working with Children Check will also be required for the successful candidate.

Previous experience in a similar role is an advantage, but training will be provided for the right person possessing enthusiasm and good worth ethic.

The position is full time and ongoing, with some weekend and after hours required to suit a fully volunteer membership.

Prior to applying you should familiarise yourself with the Position Description which is available from the VFBV office or for download at the bottom of this page. 

 

How to apply

All applications must include:

  1. a current resume
  2. a cover letter addressing the key selection criteria outlined in the position description 

 

Send applications to the attention of Cathie Smith, VFBV 9/24 Lakeside Drive, Burwood East 3151 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

Applications close Sunday 15 May 2022

Any questions or queries re the application process should be directed to Cathie Smith at the VFBV office on (03) 9886 1141 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, 27 March 2022 16:06

2022 State Urban Senior Championship Results

Written by

Final results for the 2022 State Urban Senior Championships held in Mooroopna on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March 2022 are now available.

The results are available for download at the bottom of this page. 

Team times for all events have been posted on VFBV's dedicated Championships Facebook Page.

Grand Aggregate Winner - Melton A

B Section Aggregate Winner - Werribee

Final Aggregate Results:

Page 8 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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