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Volunteerism Committee

Volunteerism Committee (16)

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:03

2 Minute Briefing - Volunteerism

Issue 16: December 2016

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 20/11/2016)

CFA HQ DIRECTORATE RESTRUCTURE – VOLUNTEERS & STRATEGY

The CFA Volunteerism department has again been restructured, with the Committee informed that the old Learning & Volunteerism directorate has been split, with training now being transferred to the F&EM (Fire & Emergency Management) directorate, and Volunteerism now merging with Strategy to form the new directorate of Volunteers & Strategy.

The Brigade Support Team has now been amalgamated with the Volunteerism team, with this team looking to focus on more field based staff connecting with brigades at the local level.  They will explore recruitment and re-engagement, brigade sustainability, decline and growth patterns across the state, hub and cooperative models, and community connectedness. 

The overall vision of the Volunteers and Strategy Team is to facilitate the growth of volunteerism and strengthen brigade sustainability. VFBV welcomes Executive Director John Haynes to the new position. John brings energy and enthusiasm to the role and the Committee looks forward to working with him. John’s vision is to look at more outcome based measurements, such as what we measure before, during and after fires – not just measuring performance based on time out the door.

CFA ANNUAL PLAN 2016-17 RELEASED

CFA has released its Annual Plan for 2016-17 that outlines its priorities for this period. This year’s plan outlines the five priority plan themes for CFA during the 2016/17 year. The five themes are; Capability; Culture; Stakeholder Engagement; Strategy, Plan and Direction; and Systems and Processes.
 You can download a copy at; http://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/news/cfa-plan-a-must-read-for-all.html

VOLUNTEER TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT & ARRANGEMENTS

Following reports of variances between CFA Regions and Districts in how volunteer travel reimbursements are paid and authorised, the committee has requested CFA develop a State-wide Business Rule that will standardise and clarify arrangements. VFBV’s long held policy is that no volunteer should be out of pocket due to their volunteering. The Committee continues to advocate for improved access to CFA vehicles – including corporate pool vehicles when required to travel for training or other CFA related activities that would otherwise create an impost or cost upon volunteers. Should an appropriate vehicle not be available, then volunteers should have access to travel reimbursement, which is currently set at $0.72 per km. CFA has agreed to progress a policy review.

AWARD WINNING PROGRAM FOR KIDS

A VFBV-supported project for secondary students has won the Education Award at this year’s Fire Awareness Awards, thanks to local CFA volunteers and the Maryborough Education Centre. The Emergency Services Journey takes Year 9 students to their local brigade, Police and ambulance station to see how each service operates and learn practical skills. What began as a Brigades in Schools program run by volunteers from the Maryborough Fire Brigade in 2004, has been developed into an innovative course at the Maryborough Education Centre by teacher, VFBV Board member and CFA volunteer Samantha Rothman.

The course also includes a camp in the Mallee and sessions at a surf life saving club, and the students achieve certificates in Life Saving skills and First Aid. The program includes team and confidence building, with activities like open water swimming and fire brigade competition events. The Emergency Services Journey program is funded by VFBV and the Maryborough Education Centre Principal David Sutton says the school is proud of the students for doing so well, and Samantha Rothman for her work in developing the program. Well done David, Samantha and the Maryborough Brigade!

Friday, 05 February 2016 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Volunteerism

Issue 15: December 2015

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 22/11/2015)

CFA VOLUNTEERISM STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION The Committee reviewed CFA’s implementation progress of the Volunteer Strategy across CFA. The new Volunteer Support Model was presented, which sees Regional BASOs being appointed to implement the programs of the Volunteer Support Program. VFBV highlighted the importance of the original BASO program and the need to continue their direct support of Brigades, reconfirming their critical importance as one of the most trusted and respected resources CFA can provide to assist and support Brigades with their ever increasing administrative and logistical workloads.

The new Regional BASOs have been employed full time and are ongoing in these roles providing much needed stability. The Committee will be continuing to watch the implementation of the Regional BASOs and asks Brigades to provide feedback on the programs and ensure that direct support to Brigades is not only maintained but enhanced & increased.

The Leadership and Management Development Program for Volunteers framework has been developed and presented to the committee. This program is a key priority of the Volunteer Strategy and we look forward to this being developed across the state for the benefit of our leaders and brigades.

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY ASPIRE EARLY ADMISSIONS PROGRAM

CFA have partnered with the La Trobe University Aspire program, which provides year 12 students who are also CFA volunteers with priority access to their chosen course at La Trobe. This includes being offered a place prior to exams, acceptance of a lower ATAR score, access to on campus accommodation, participation in the Enrichment Program and capped fees. This is a great opportunity for our younger members and please ensure that members intending to going to university know of this opportunity, more information can be found at

http://www.latrobe.edu.au/study/aspire

JUNIOR MEMBER SERVICE RECOGNITION The committee has been asked to look into the possibility of Junior Members having their service recorded to be included in their overall service for the awarding of CFA Service Awards. The committee has been advised by CFA that there are no barriers for this to occur. The next step will be to gain feedback from members across CFA as to whether their service should be included. The survey commenced in December and closes 29 February 2016. Members are encouraged to complete the survey online at

or a hard copy can be obtained from CFA. http://cfa.engagementhq.com/

Recognising Junior Service in a members overall service will only apply to the awarding of CFA Service Awards and not external awards i.e. National Medal etc.

JUNIOR MEMBER ID CARDS

A reminder that Junior Member ID cards are available. So far, since the start of the program only

35% of Juniors across CFA have obtained an ID.

Brigades are encouraged to obtain ID cards for their Junior Members and if there are any issues with the cards or system, please feed back the information.

Brigades can use Brigades Online to order individual cards.

BUSHFIRE NATIONAL HAZARDS CRC – VOLUNTEER RESEARCH

The committee is monitoring relevant research from the Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative

Research Centre. Two topics of particular interest are ‘Out of Uniform – Building resilience through non - traditional emergency volunteering’ and ‘Improving the retention and engagement of volunteers in emergency service agencies’. Updates will be provided as the projects develop as it is hoped this kind of research supports & contributes to build long - term volunteer sustainability.

Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Volunteerism

Issue 14: October 2015

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 30/08/2015)

VICTORIAN YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARDS

CFA has been accepted as a sponsor of the Victorian Young Achiever Awards 2015 in a new category incorporating volunteering. This award will be known as the “CFA Young Volunteer Excellence Award”.

Youth is defined by the Victorian Young Achiever Awards as individuals up to and including twenty-none (29) years of age.

The CFA Young Volunteer Excellence Award aims to acknowledge young volunteers who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution and who, through their volunteering, have positively impacted the lives of others and their community. The award covers all aspects of volunteering including (but not restricted to) youth at risk, the homeless and disadvantaged, emergency services, health, aged care and not for profits.

Nominees are young volunteers who, through their volunteering, have positively impacted the lives of others and their community. The awards were launched on 8 September, and communications was sent to all ACOs, Districts, Field staff and brigades to advise of the award and the nomination criteria. Nominations close Friday 11December 2015, with judging to occur on Wednesday 9March 2016 followed by a gala presentation on Friday 6May 2016.

You can complete an official nomination form by going to www.awardsaustralia.com.au and click on Victoria on the map and choose the Victorian Young Achiever awards from the drop down box.

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL FIREFIGHTERS CADET CHAMPIONSHIPS

CFA has competed at the ANFC Championships since their inception in 2007. This biennial event is open to junior members of emergency services agencies from across Australia. This year’s Championships are to be held in Myuna Bay, near Lake Macquarie, new South Wales, from 28 September to 1 October.

CFA will be taking three teams of six (6) from across the State between the ages of 14 and 15 years and four endorsed junior leaders, accompanied by three staff members from OT&V.

Whilst results are likely to be known by the time this update goes to press, VFBV wishes all competitors the best of luck, and know they will do Victoria and CFA proud.

AUSTRALASIAN FIREFIGHTERS CHAMPIONSHIP

The National Firefighters Championship was established following the running of the Centenary of Federation Firefighter Championships held at Corowa, NSW in 2001.

The success of this event led to the formation of the Australasian Firefighters Championship committee, which acts as a governing committee for the event.

CFA last hosted the event in 2007 at Lakes Entrance. This year’s event will be hosted by the Echuca Fire Brigade on 23, 24and 25October 2015.

Thirty teams have formally registered to participate including nine teams from Victoria - eight (8) from CFA (Echuca, Euroa, Geelong West, Melton, Ocean Grove, Pyramid Hill, Swan Hill & Werribee) and one from MFB; ten (10) from NSW, three (3) from Tasmania, three (3) from New Zealand, two (2) from Northern Territory, and one each from South Australia, ACT and Fiji.

VFBV wishes all competitors the best of luck and know they will do Victoria and CFA proud.

Monday, 14 September 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Joint Volunteerism

Issue 13: July 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 21/06/15)

VOLUNTEERISM STRATEGY

With the Volunteerism Strategy now being endorsed, CFA are planning the next steps to implement the plan. The plan outlines ten key initiatives over the five years and early planning has identified four priority initiatives that have been prioritised by CFA for action commencing in 2015/16.

The four priorities over the first twelve months are:

  • Implement improved practical, regional support for volunteerism through a Volunteer Support Model.
  • Develop and implement targeted youth programs.
  • Establish a grass roots Volunteer Leadership and Management Development Program
  • Contribute to emergency services sector wide strategic planning and development of volunteerism.

The committee will be looking for feedback from members as to the progress of these priorities and the difference they are having down to a brigade level.

NATIONAL EMERGENCY MEDAL

The National Emergency Medal presentation events around the state were completed as at the end of June 2015. For those that are still to receive their National Emergency Medals, arrangements are to be made at the local level to have members presented at brigade dinners or other functions. Resources that were used at the larger events, will be made available to brigades and districts for further presentations.

BRIGADE MANAGEMENT TEAM WORKSHOPS

The committee was given a presentation on the available brigade management team workshops available to brigades. The committee believes that there is still some work to be done in regard to promoting these workshops and defining their benefits to brigades, especially against other opportunities that are out there for brigades.

VOLUNTEER EXIT SURVEY

The results of the latest Volunteer Exit Survey were presented to the committee, with very similar findings to the last exit survey. However, the results are very limited due to the small number of respondents to the survey. CFA are looking at ways to improve the response rate and the committee put forward several suggestions to improve this to ensure that results in the future are meaningful and can be used effectively.

HONOURS & AWARDS NOMINATORS GUIDE

Committee members were sent a draft copy of the Honours and Awards Nominators Guide to review, which has been developed in consultation with a volunteer reference panel. The guide will be in print by the time this update goes to press. The new guide will eventually be added to the Honours and Awards Manual. The nominators guide is designed to assist brigades in applying for awards and provides some guidance on the kind of information nominators should be seeking and investigating when considering someone for an award. Pleasingly, since the Honours and Awards Manual has been published, there has been a noticeable increase in nominations for awards to recognise volunteers.

Issue 12: April 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 22/03/15)

VOLUNTEER STRATEGY

The CFA Volunteer Strategy has now been endorsed by the CFA Board, following the final round of field consultation. All members are encouraged to read and familiarize themselves with this important strategy that lays down the foundations of how everyone within CFA will work towards ensuring the future capability of community based volunteer emergency services remains strong, whilst encouraging, maintaining and strengthening the capacity of volunteers.

Now that the Strategy is completed, VFBV has requested that CFA build an action plan to measure and report on key performance indicators against the strategy. This will ensure that the strategy becomes a living document, and not just collecting dust on someone’s bookshelf. CFA has advised they are now preparing an implementation strategy, and delegates have emphasized the importance of using the Chief Officer’s Chain of Command to both inform and deliver the implementation down to the District level. Implementation plans are due to be signed off by June 30 this year.

UPDATES TO JUNIOR VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

As of 18 February 2015, junior members have been able to apply for personal ID cards. The cards are used to identify junior members when participating in CFA-related activities and feature a similar design to the current member ID card, except it is blue instead of orange. Junior members can apply for their card online via their Brigade, with the Member ID Card system being available on Brigades Online; and cards will be posted to them within 4 weeks of application. The cards expire on the member’s sixteenth birthday, when they will be invited to apply for their senior membership.

A new guidebook has also been released, which contains information on the establishment, management and resourcing of junior brigades and is accompanied by application forms for new brigades, junior leaders and junior members. Personal Protective clothing comprising helmet and gloves is also now available for junior brigades to complement the existing junior uniform. Orders can be placed online and delivered to brigades at no extra cost.

Further information can be requested through your District Office, or contacting the JVDP Team within OT&V at HQ.

VFBV VOLUNTEER WELFARE & EFFICIENCY SURVEY RESULTS

The analysis and final report from last year’s VFBV Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Survey has now been sent to all participants of the survey. A printed copy of the results will also be going out to all Brigades in our next mail out. An electronic copy of the results is available from the VFBV website.

Now in its third year, the survey is an important indicator as to how volunteers feel across a range of matters. Delegates have requested that CFA work with the committee to identify key result area’s that could be addressed, and a proactive plan put in place to drive improvement and narrow the gaps between those issues identified in the survey as underperforming. To take part in the 2015 survey, click here to register and you will receive the survey when it opens.

JUNIOR MEMBER SERVICE RECOGNITION

The Committee has received a request for it to deliberate on a suggestion that junior member service history (years served) be recorded and included as part of a Senior members service history, when awarding CFA service medals. The committee has requested CFA investigate the legal implications (via the CFA regulations) and also an environmental scan as to what other jurisdictions/States do. The Committee will be engaging in wider consultation as this issue progresses, to identify pros and cons, with a recommendation (either for or against) to go to State Council later this year.

Issue 11: December 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 09/11/14)

VOLUNTEER STRATEGY

The CFA Volunteer Strategy Draft has been endorsed by the CFA Board and has now been released to the Regions/Districts for widespread comment and feedback before the Strategy is completed in February 2015.

The Volunteer Strategy has three key strategic objectives of Encourage, Maintain and Strengthen Volunteerism. Feedback is being sought from all members of CFA, with CFA holding several Regional workshops and any member can give feedback through Brigades Online. A strategy kit, including a feedback form has also been posted to each brigade secretary. We encourage all members to give consideration to the strategy and provide feedback.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT PROGRAM

The Volunteer Support Program continues with its three streams of Brigade Sustainability, Wellbeing and the District Volunteerism Co-Ordinators.

In response to concerns being raised by brigades, the committee has requested that advice be provided to the field regarding how priorities are being set and for CFA to provide improved transparency to District Councils, DPC’s and Brigades of the prioritized initiatives of the District Coordinators. Work plans are currently done in consultation with the Operations Manager and the District Coordinator, and the committee has requested CFA improve the opportunities for brigades, groups, District Council and DPC’s to be more closely involved in these discussions.

VFBV continues to encourage brigade leaders to provide comment and input to the district work plans to ensure that brigades benefit and are seeing an effect of the Volunteer Support Program work and that the work they are doing is tangible, practical and what is needed & requested by brigades.

VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT PROJECT

The Volunteer Recruitment Project plan was presented to the committee. The projects objective is to enhance the current systems, processes and practices used to attract and recruit volunteers. The committees view is the plan needs to add more strategy in regard to attracting new members, not just the processes involved once a person has shown an interest in joining the CFA. Other feedback was also around ensuring the project was flexible enough to support brigades with their own recruitment activities, and to avoid a one size fits all approach being forced on brigades. A reference group is in the process of being formed, and CFA has agreed to consider the committees views, and do some more work on the plan before it is initiated. As help with recruitment is one of the most requested areas of support asked for by brigades, the committee is encouraged that CFA has identified this as a priority need, and looks forward to working with CFA on this project.

VOLUNTEER EXIT SURVEY RESULTS

The Volunteer Exit Survey is now implemented and CFA has presented draft results to the committee. The survey gives vital feedback to CFA on several items that they need to improve and the reasons why volunteers decide to leave CFA.

Initial results still show over 61% of leaving members are not completing the survey, and the committee has requested CFA investigate how to make it more accessible.

The survey will be ongoing with the results analysed regularly by the committee. This will ensure that future retention strategies are now informed by actual experience and data.

Issue 10: August 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 10/08/14)

VOLUNTEER STRATEGY

Work on the Volunteer Strategy is continuing with input from VFBV with VFBV State Council and Board having had several opportunities to input at a broad level. The draft strategy is still being progressed and is likely to be presented to the CFA Board at their September meeting. Work on the strategy will then continue over the next three to six months, with the focus being to road test and discuss the draft strategy with volunteers more broadly and to get volunteer input into what needs to be done to convert the strategy into real results on the ground. The draft strategy should be available for District & Regional level discussions from October onwards.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT PROGRAM

CFA have advised that twenty new Volunteerism Co-Ordinators, with one located in each District have commenced and their focus is on co-ordinating and implementing District volunteerism initiatives, aligned to state and local priorities. They now join the members from the Wellbeing Pilot and Brigade Sustainability Pilots, to complete the 60 staff employed under the Volunteer Support Project. VFBV has requested clear and concise communications go out to the field to ensure members understand the role and objectives of each of the three pilot programs & how they will interact & coordinate.

The Committee will now be focussing on evaluating the programs and gaining feedback from volunteers in the field. The feedback we are seeking, amongst other things is the effectiveness of the tools being developed; how they are introduced to Brigades; the Brigade’s accessibility and line of sight to the 60 support officers/staff; and if they are making a difference out in the field on matters important to Brigades and volunteers. The feedback will be used along the way to help improve the projects and will be used during the pilots final evaluation early next year.

With each of these three projects having different roles and reporting streams, it is important that Brigades understand what is available for them and how they access each. If you are unsure what the projects are, or require assistance from any of them, contact your Operations Manager/Officer who has been briefed on the role and function of each stream.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT PROGRAM - RESOURCES

The Volunteer Support Program is developing and updating many resources and tools for Brigades to use for their benefit. Some of these tools, include attraction, recruitment and retention guides, customisable promotional products, volunteer resources catalogue, online Brigade Leadership HUB, F&EM Roles Pathways Map and an online CFA apparel shop, to name just a few.

VFBV support and encourage these initiatives but also seek to ensure these useful tools and resources are informed by the field, and not developed in isolation. Formal VFBV consultative forums are an important link for the project teams to engage and seek feedback from brigades, and provide opportunities for volunteers to test and review the tools before they are published for accuracy, relevance and ease of use. The Committee believes this is an area that could be improved, as feedback from Brigades is important to ensure that the correct tools, with the correct information are being developed for what Brigades need. The Committee looks forward to greater engagement on these products in the future.

VOLUNTEER SURVEY RESULTS

The VFBV Welfare & Efficiency Survey and CFA’s Volunteer Survey have both been completed, with a combined total of over 4,000 responses. Results from both surveys will be available shortly. The Committee has requested that CFA formulate an action plan to address any areas of weakness, and to promote and build upon any identified strengths.

VFBV/CFA Joint Volunteerism Committee

2 Minute Briefing

Issue 9: May 2014

HONOURS & AWARDS

The committee reviewed a new booklet produced by OT&V, ‘How to Wear Honours and Awards’, which will be distributed to all CFA members within the next edition of the Brigade Magazine. The booklet is designed to assist members who have received more than one award and how to wear them according to the established order of precedence. The need for such a booklet has been highlighted at the recent NEM presentations, and has been based on the most frequently asked questions members have had.

VFBV provided initial feedback and suggestions which have now been incorporated into the final guide. Delegates commended CFA on a timely and well executed initiative.

NEM presentations continue across the state with ceremonies confirmed for Northern and Western Metropolitan Region, Loddon Mallee Region and Gippsland to occur in May, June and July 2014. There is continuing discussions between OT&V and Regions/Districts to organise a second round of presentations.

JUNIOR VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

CFA have advised that junior member ID cards will be available online and approved as per the current CFA Member ID. The ID cards will contain the junior’s name, photo, Brigade and their 16th Birthday/Expiry Date. Delegates have requested that the new cards be ready prior to September for the commencement of local and regional championships in October.

It is expected that the new JVDP website will be launched in August, and will include a JVDP Program Guidebook, Junior Member Registration Forms and a new JVDP section on Brigades Online. CFA have agreed that individual copies of the documents will also be sent to all Junior Leaders and Brigade Secretaries.

VOLUNTEER STRATEGY

CFA has begun work on its Volunteer Strategy, and will be pursuing a joint approach with SES in order to align it to the Emergency Service reforms underway. VFBV has provided initial input into the scope of the strategy, and the committee participated in a structured workshop to validate and build upon the themes.

The Volunteer Strategy is expected to be presented to the VFBV and CFA boards in July 2014, with an implementation and working model expected to be finalised by the end of 2014.

VOLUNTEER EXIT SURVEY

The committee reviewed the results from the Volunteer Exit Survey Pilot which was conducted between 1 January and 30 June 2013. The survey is key to finding out why Volunteers are leaving the CFA, so that strategies can be implemented to retain and recruit more volunteers. Delegates have requested that some questions be improved for the future surveys, to ensure more relevant feedback. The exit survey will become a part of business as usual from July 2014. Every three months the CFA will send out the exit survey to all members that have left the CFA and every 12 months the CFA will produce a report from the results of these surveys to identify trends and common issues.

Volunteerism

Joint Committee – 2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held16th March 2014)

National Emergency Medal

Good progress is being made across the state with ceremonies for the presentations of the National Emergency Medal. The ceremonies will continue for most of the year, with OT&V organising dates and venues at appropriate times for recipients in conjunction with the Districts. Unfortunately, several have been postponed due to operational circumstances and will be rescheduled for later in the year. For those recipients that have not been able to attend the presentations, the need for each District to hold an additional presentation will be looked into, to ensure that all recipients receive their National Emergency Medal.

Jones Inquiry

Progress with the Jones Inquiry Implementation is being made with a Project Management Team now being implemented to ensure that a project plan is developed and implemented. A Steering Committee will also be setup to ensure that the project plan is being implemented in a timely manner. 

Victorian Auditor General’s (VAGO) Report - Emergency Services Volunteers

As part of the VAGO Reports recommendation to implement the Volunteer Strategy by December 2014, CFA will be meeting with SES to discuss a joint approach to the development of a Volunteer Strategy, aligned to the Emergency Services reform underway.

CFA have commenced a preliminary literature review of relevant local and international volunteer strategies and the development of the strategy will involve significant engagement and consultation will all members and VFBV. A project board and project team will be established to focus on the Volunteer Strategy in 2014.

Wellbeing Pilot

As part of the Volunteer Support Program, a Wellbeing Project is being rolled out across the state with 10 team members recruited and starting shortly for a 12 month pilot. The Wellbeing Project Pilot will examine and progress strategies and systems that support volunteers in areas such as member welfare/wellbeing, interpersonal relationship issues resolution particularly at an early stage before they become large issues affecting the volunteers and brigades. VFBV is very keen to track the progress of this pilot project to ensure the positive outcomes are embedded into CFA in a lasting way.

Brigade Sustainability

Brigade Sustainability team members (21 in total as part of the Volunteer Support Program) are being employed across the state to assist brigades to develop local initiatives, strategies and solutions to address brigade long term and short term viability. The Brigade and Membership Classification project is progressing with all brigades having to transition by 2016. To assist with the transition, Brigade Sustainability team members will be available to assist brigades and a booklet with the brigade structures and role descriptors will be available shortly.

Volunteerism

Joint Committee – 2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held16th March 2014)

National Emergency Medal

Good progress is being made across the state with ceremonies for the presentations of the National Emergency Medal. The ceremonies will continue for most of the year, with OT&V organising dates and venues at appropriate times for recipients in conjunction with the Districts. Unfortunately, several have been postponed due to operational circumstances and will be rescheduled for later in the year. For those recipients that have not been able to attend the presentations, the need for each District to hold an additional presentation will be looked into, to ensure that all recipients receive their National Emergency Medal.

Jones Inquiry

Progress with the Jones Inquiry Implementation is being made with a Project Management Team now being implemented to ensure that a project plan is developed and implemented. A Steering Committee will also be setup to ensure that the project plan is being implemented in a timely manner. 

Victorian Auditor General’s (VAGO) Report - Emergency Services Volunteers

As part of the VAGO Reports recommendation to implement the Volunteer Strategy by December 2014, CFA will be meeting with SES to discuss a joint approach to the development of a Volunteer Strategy, aligned to the Emergency Services reform underway.

CFA have commenced a preliminary literature review of relevant local and international volunteer strategies and the development of the strategy will involve significant engagement and consultation will all members and VFBV. A project board and project team will be established to focus on the Volunteer Strategy in 2014.

Wellbeing Pilot

As part of the Volunteer Support Program, a Wellbeing Project is being rolled out across the state with 10 team members recruited and starting shortly for a 12 month pilot. The Wellbeing Project Pilot will examine and progress strategies and systems that support volunteers in areas such as member welfare/wellbeing, interpersonal relationship issues resolution particularly at an early stage before they become large issues affecting the volunteers and brigades. VFBV is very keen to track the progress of this pilot project to ensure the positive outcomes are embedded into CFA in a lasting way.

Brigade Sustainability

Brigade Sustainability team members (21 in total as part of the Volunteer Support Program) are being employed across the state to assist brigades to develop local initiatives, strategies and solutions to address brigade long term and short term viability. The Brigade and Membership Classification project is progressing with all brigades having to transition by 2016. To assist with the transition, Brigade Sustainability team members will be available to assist brigades and a booklet with the brigade structures and role descriptors will be available shortly.

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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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