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Monday, 14 September 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Joint Training Committee

Issue 13: July 2015

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 21/06/15)

DRIVER TRAINING

Further progress has been made, with VicRoads confirming that CFA is well placed to establish an internal training and assessment process that would be recognized by VicRoads in the attainment of truck licenses for members. Initial scoping has indicated that existing CFA Driver Instructors (vol and staff) would only need to attain two additional competencies to align them with VicRoads requirements. CFA is now scoping a pilot program, and will also pilot five external providers to provide State coverage during the evaluation.

BA HELMET DECALS

The Committee requested an update on where CFA was at with helmet markings to indicate if members were qualified in Breathing Apparatus. With the introduction of a 2 stream process for BA attainment, one for external use, and a more complex one for internal attack and search & rescue, there is confusion around which level of competency a member holds when they are displaying the “BA” decal on their helmet.

A pilot has been running for some time in District 13 who are trialling new helmet markings, and CFA have advised results from that pilot will not be finalized until September. The Committee has indicated this appears to be a very long time for what appears to be quite a simple issue, and has requested if the evaluation can be finished earlier to enable a decision to be made ASAP.

VOLUNTEER TRAINERS & ASSESSORS

The Committee has requested a regular report broken down by District & Region, of how many individual volunteers have been endorsed as trainers and assessors, along with which courses, and an indication of how often they actually get used. Following continual complaints received from volunteers that they cannot access formal competency training and cancellation of courses due to no available instructors or long term instructor vacancies, it is hoped regular reporting will provide transparency as to which Districts have established a sufficient pool of volunteer trainers and assessors to meet the increasing demand and assist with promoting best practice.

FIRST AID TRAINING

Limits on the number of volunteers being trained in First Aid still constitute an unresolved issue, and VFBV has made a direct request to CFA for an update on any progress.

The issue persists in spite of the Chief Officer’s ‘maximum density model’ being promoted in CFA’s reporting on its implementation of Jones Inquiry recommendations and an indication at the Benalla Open Forum last year that a funding proposal supporting that model was close to being resolved.

We are still receiving complaints from volunteer Brigades that they are limited in the number of members who can be trained in First Aid and in some Districts, CFA is sending invoices to Brigades for training members in First Aid above their current BOSP targets.

VFBV presented CFA with a detailed official position paper on First Aid in 2010, calling for the removal of barriers to First Aid training, Recognition of Prior Learning for those already well qualified, and First Aid training to be made available for every operational volunteer who is willing to undertake it and non-operational volunteers who need it under OH&S requirements. A copy of the VFBV First Aid Position Paper is available in the Library section of the VFBV website

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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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