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Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Communications & Technology

Issue 14: October 2015

A quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 15/09/2015)

 

LISTENING SETS

CFA and VFBV through the Joint Communications & Technology Committee and CFA’s Business Services Team have been diligently working on a replacement Listening Set since 2010, and are pleased to announce the commencement of an extensive subsidization program to assist members with their purchase. This is a long awaited outcome for members with the first units available to ship November 1st.

Please refer to the extensive digital Scanner information pack included in our October mail out (and the VFBV website). The “pack” contains a letter, order form (sample completed order form) and FAQs sheet. If you have any queries please contact VFBV on 9886 1141, VFBV will be providing administrative support for the process of orders.

All brigades & groups have 90 days to submit their Tier 1 and Tier 2 orders. Orders are due by January 15, 2016 at the latest. Any scanners left over after this time will be sold. This program would not have been possible without CFA’s support and approval, and VFBV wishes to thank CFA for the establishment and support of the subsidisation program for the benefit of members.

 

EAS (PAGER) USER REFERENCE PANEL

The committee continues to receive complaints from members regarding the current pagers. The Committee has again requested CFA to discuss with EMV the status of the user group and the desire for it to include good volunteer representation to allow informed decisions about what the new generation pager will look like and how it will operate. CFA has advised it is supportive of the concept and will re-raise the issue with EMV, as it is a multi-agency device and EMV is responsible for its coordination. The Committee is eager to start volunteer consultation early so that consultation will inform the specifications of a future device, instead of simply reacting to what is currently on the market now.

Please inform your State Councillor of your views on what is required in the next generation pager in order to assist the Committee in any preliminary discussions.

 

ESTA RADIO PATCHING OF DISTRICTS

There has been much confusion relating to ESTA patching District radio dispatch channels and extra radio traffic during some busy periods which has concerned members. Patching is the process used to “merge” multiple District dispatch channels into a temporary single channel so it can be managed by a single ESTA operator. The downside is, every District that has been patched with another now hears all the radio traffic from all those Districts that have been patched together. The committee met with an ESTA representative and discussed members concerns and the impacts linking has on brigades. ESTA have advised they are working on developing new procedures to expedite the “de-linking” of Districts during multiple events, and are also seeking government funding that would reduce ESTA’s reliance on linking, which is directly tied to the number of operators that are on shift.

The Committee is discussing with ESTA the increasing number of false alarm calls being received by brigades who arrive only to find the burn was a registered burn off and is being adequately managed by the land owner. ESTA have advised they are currently refining the operator scripts and questions that ESTA operators will use to interrogate 000 callers to better improve the identification of registered burn offs and avoid responding brigades unnecessarily.

 

IMPROVEMENTS TO REGISTERED BURNOFF REGISTRATION

The Committee is discussing with ESTA the increasing number of false alarm calls being received by brigades who arrive only to find the burn was a registered burn off and is being adequately managed by the land owner. ESTA have advised they are currently refining the operator scripts and questions that ESTA operators will use to interrogate 000 callers to better improve the identification of registered burn offs and avoid responding brigades unnecessarily.

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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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