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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:24

JOINT COMMUNITY SAFETY COMMITTEE - 2 MINUTE BRIEFING

Community Safety

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing 

Issue 7, November 2013

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 10/11/2013)

FIRE PREVENTION INFORMATION BULLETINS

Delegates have advocated for the need to provide an easy and prominent way to update brigades on Community Safety (Prevention) processes & policies. The committee reviewed two draft Information Bulletins, and is reviewing their format, and publishing processes to ensure they will provide an easy to read format for brigades to use, whilst also ensuring they are not overused to prevent brigades from being inundated with information. The intent is to provide prominence to emerging issues, along the same lines as existing Operations Bulletins.

One of the first subjects to be covered by the new bulletins, will be the escalation process for brigades who have concerns around Fire Prevention Notices not being enforced in their area. Brigades frequently report they are unclear about the process they are to use to inform the relevant landholder of the need for fire prevention works to address a risk to life or property, and how to secure commitments from landholders on what they consider necessary to reduce the risk.

It is hoped the first of the new Fire Prevention Information Bulletins will be finalised shortly, for distribution to all brigades. Keep your eye out for this important initiative.

BRIGADE PARTICIPATION IN IFMP

The committee continues to monitor brigade participation and involvement in local planning processes, and in particular IFMP, to ensure brigades have sufficient opportunity to be involved in local planning and prioritisation of fire prevention activities within their areas. Following increasing reports of brigade dissatisfaction with their level of involvement in local Integrated Fire Management Planning processes, CFA instigated a state wide review through the Managers Community Safety to audit what level of involvement each brigade has in local IFMP processes, now that MFPC’s have been wound up. In particular, the committee is keen to understand that in situations where CFA employees (OO’s etc) are representing local brigades at these meetings, what processes are in place to ensure their views are informed by those of the local brigades, and how are decisions and information communicated with brigades before and after these meetings. Whilst four of the Regions have submitted results from their detailed audit, the committee is now awaiting the results from the other four regions who worryingly, where unable to supply the requested information. The committee will continue to monitor the progress of the audit, and hopes to work collaboratively with CFA to identify and solve any trends arising from the review that is inhibiting local brigade engagement and involvement in these critical planning processes.

THE ROLES OF REGIONS IN CAPACITY & CAPABILITY BUILDING FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY ACTIVITIES

The committee continues to advocate for the need to scope and develop policies and guidance around the roles of Regions and Districts in local capacity and capability building, for brigades to be engaged in Community Safety activities. A key body of work is the development of a Brigade Gap Analysis, that allows a brigade to indicate what capacity it already has, what capacity it believes it would be able to build, and most importantly, what area’s the brigade has little or no capacity or interest in, so that support can be provided through the District and Region to support the brigade in those activities. The committee often receives reports from brigades who are anxious about a perception that work is being “pushed down to brigades” and the purpose of the gap analysis is to provide an opportunity for a regular and structured conversation to occur between the brigade and the district around where it’s priorities lie, and what areas the brigade wants external support or assistance with, to take the pressure off brigades where local capacity or capability may be low.

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