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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:36

JOINT VOLUNTEERISM COMMITTEE - 2 MINUTE BRIEFING

Volunteerism

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)

NATIONAL EMERGENCY MEDAL

CFA is well advanced with the planning and conduct of presentation ceremonies for members receiving the National Emergency Medal. In conjunction with Region and District staff, OTV staff are pre-planning ceremonies that fit in with members’ time and opportunity, this requiring some consideration of local impacts such as harvest, upcoming Fire Danger Period and the wishes of members for the timing and location of presentation events.  It should be noted that as a result some ceremonies are planned in conjunction with Regions and Districts during 2014.

VFBV senior representatives have witnessed many of the early ceremonies and agree with CFA that there is overwhelming acceptance and positive feedback for the events.

Members should be made aware that if any volunteer believes that would meet the eligibility criteria and have not been nominated to date, there is the opportunity to nominate at any time as there is no prescribed cut-off date.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT PROGRAM

CFA has advised that additional field resources (31 additional project personnel) will be engaged and deployed within the Membership Sustainability and Member Welfare Projects for an extended 12 month trial. The Program Steering Committee and Working Group are actively working towards developing an ongoing volunteer support resource model – known to be a ‘BAISB Model – Business as it should be’.

VFBV representation at both Steering and Working Group levels is pursuing a ‘directly embedded model’ that would see 64 full time resources deployed to work directly with Brigades and volunteers – closely aligned to Fire and Emergency Management field support resources.

JUNIOR VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM - JVDP

Congratulations to the 23 members who recently we were supported by CFA and the Government’s Valuing Volunteers Program and travelled to Sydney to participate in the Australian National Fire Cadet Championships in October.  Eighteen juniors accompanied by five junior leaders represented CFA with distinction and by all reports had a fulfilling and great time.

The Chief Officer is considering a report that would devolve the management of juniors to CFA Districts.  VFBV delegates are keen to understand the rationale for such a move, given the great work of the junior program staff at HQ who have delivered a level of consistency and program support across CFA.  The experiences of the past suggest that while responsibility for day to day administration might reside best locally, the accountabilities associated with meeting statutory and legal requirements of working with children may well still require organisational oversight.

JONES INQUIRY

CFA is still finalising the third progress report (June-August 2013) on Jones Inquiry Implementation.

Although concerned about the delay, VFBV is more concerned to ensure the progress reports are accurate. The CFA report indicates 23 of 141 agreed actions are complete, 44 are on target, 64 are behind target and 10 yet to start.

With concerns raised by VFBV and the Joint Steering Committee, CFA’s Lex de Man has commissioned an internal CFA review to identify actual progress and what can be done to get things moving and VFBV has raised its concerns with the CFA Board.

There has been good progress on a few issues but many more seem to be dragging on.  VFBV is trying to work constructively with CFA and hopes the review will be the catalyst for more focused effort. We will keep District Councils updated on progress against actions to ensure the benefits are delivered in full at Brigade level.

Visit our website www.vfbv.com.au to review the action plan and CFA status report.

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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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