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Friday, 15 August 2014 00:00

Joint Communications & Technology Committee - 2 Minute Briefing May 2014

VFBV/CFA Joint Communications & Technology Committee

2 Minute Briefing

Issue 9: May 2014


VFBV delegates to the Committee advised CFA that State Council is writing to the CFA Board, advising that VFBV continues to receive a high level number of complaints from Districts as to the suitability of the “new” Alpha Legend Pager. VFBV is requesting the CFA Board implement a process by which the Board can monitor complaints being raised and monitor the adequacy of proposed solutions & report back to State Council.

VFBV has reported the view provided by several Districts that there are some fundamental deficiencies in the pager that will not be able to be resolved via firmware updates, and that CFA should immediately start planning on a replacement pager for when the current contract ends in 2016/17.

The Committee conducted an effective workshop to brainstorm what processes could be used in the future, to identify key user requirements well before the selection of a replacement pager. Delegates continue to request CFA be proactive and start pre-planning to ensure that pagers of the future will meet emergency sector volunteer (end user) requirements.


The program is now running slightly behind target due to weather, etc. & will not be completed by June 2013.

17 black spot repeater stations have been completed this year so far and remaining ones should be completed for fit-out to occur. There are approximately 11-12 that are in current stages of being built.

There are also some sites that are still being used for analogue dispatch, so when they are "switched" off they shall provide additional capacity to cater for Incident Management Channels.


CFA advised the Committee they have now decided on a preferred supplier. VFBV will be meeting with CFA within the next two weeks to provide comment on CFA’s preferred set.

VFBV delegates to the committee requested a guarantee that the simulcast of dispatch on the analogue network will not be switched off prior to the new digital listening sets being made available. Whilst stopping short of a guarantee, due to external parties which may influence the final decision, CFA provided assurances that the provision of listening sets was now a high priority, and they were expecting significant progress to be made within the next 2 months. Delegates will continue to monitor and encourage CFA to progress this issue with haste.


The Committee received very positive feedback from Districts that have changed over to the new digital network, with the training & improved dispatch service being very well accepted. It is expected that all District (excluding 7,8,13 & 14) will be completed by 14th July. CFA re-affirmed that the "switch" in each District will not occur until each respective District is satisfied that digital provides adequate coverage.

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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.