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Communications & Technology Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing 

Issue 6, 11 August 2013

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 11/08/2013)

EAS PAGER REPLACEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE

Amy Ford from ESTA spoke to committee members on the pager roll outs that have been done for CFA, SES and AV.  Approximately 2/3 of pagers have been distributed, there have been a number of questions on functionality of the pagers rather than faults.

Approximately 30% of brigades have asked for extra training, as there was never an intention of a "drop and run" without any training.  ESTA and CFA will provide training as required to any member who requires this, brigades are encouraged to do this as a group and contact the EAS help desk.  ESTA encourages that any issues to be reported to the Brigade’s District Office or the EAS help desk.  There are four support ESTA staff to assist with support for pagers.  Need members to be comfortable to use the device, so please ask for support for further training.

ESTA are also after as much feedback to see if there are any faults, with planning for field trip to visit District to gather feedback. This method was deemed more effective that doing a survey. 

The Quick Reference User Guide information sheet that was distributed with the new pagers will also be sent as a poster to brigades.

EAS Help desk phone 1800 604 977

 

ESTA USER REFERENCE GROUP

At the request of VFBV, an EAS Pager User Reference Group will be established towards the end of the year to deal with a number of issues including; future pagers designs, the ongoing improvement of this new pager with programming and firmware upgrades and management and overview of issues and fault rectification with this new pager.  This group will also look at lessons learned from this pager roll out and what needs to be done with the end user in mind.  The group will be made up of volunteers and staff from all agencies.

 

LISTENING SETS

There have been two business cases put forward to CFA (one for streaming on the internet and one for a separate radio device).  VFBV is of a view that there is a need to have a range of solutions to cater for the situational awareness needs of all CFA members.  VFBV is awaiting the approval of the business cases and advice on how the solutions will be funded.

In anticipation of a ‘device styled solution’ CFA will soon call for expressions of interest from suppliers for digital listening sets (looking to have these fully programmed and possibly distributed from the manufacturer).

Following the decision to progress a suite of solutions, CFA will call for tenders from IT vendors for the live streaming and hardware supply.

 

OBSERVATION REPORTS

Information has been requested from the committee as to the details regarding progressing solutions as a result form brigades lodging paging and communications observation reports.  This is due to advice to VFBV that there is rarely any follow up to the brigade once the observation report is lodged.

CFA Officers have advised that the time frame for observation reports is Brigades are required to have them submitted within 60 days of the reported issue/incident and ESTA must have them completed within 60 days from their receiving them. Our Committee delegates sought to see how a decision was made in the follow up and ensure that this is done on each occasion.  The committee has also requested to see a summary of the observation reports tabled at each meeting.

 

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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