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Monday, 29 January 2018 15:24

Tier 3 Digital Scanners - Still Available

Update: 29th January 2018

CFA is still accepting Tier 3 orders from Brigades, Groups and individual members, for digital scanners at cost price.

We have recently updated the Order Forms for Tier 3 orders to assist Brigades who wish to place orders;

Download the Brigade order form here

Download the Group order form here

 


 

 

Original Article: 20 December 2016

VFBV ADVOCATED PROGRAM - 10,000 SCANNERS DELIVERED – $3 MILLION IN SAVINGS TO BRIGADES –

CFA is still accepting Tier 3 orders from Brigades, Groups and individual members, for digital scanners at cost price.

The cost to volunteers has been significantly reduced due to the bulk orders placed during the Tier 1 and 2 subsidisation program. 

Members can order units for $446.75 plus postage and handling, while stocks last.  

 

The Digital Scanner subsidisation program advocated by VFBV and run in partnership with CFA has been an overwhelming success since it began in October 2015.

So far, 10,478 digital scanners have been ordered and shipped to Brigades and Groups across the state.  The subsidy budget, and the savings to members, represents over $3 million.

More than 970 Brigades and 80 Groups have placed and received their Tier 1 & 2 orders, and Tier 3 is still under way.

Under the Tier 1 program, every Brigade was entitled to a minimum of eight units at the subsidised price.  On average, Brigades ordered 3.5 units under Tier 1, and Groups took up one of their guaranteed minimum of two units.  Under Tiers 1 and 2 members paid $150 for a scanner, with the subsidy budget paying the other $296.75

Published in HomePage Featured

Have you paid for your Tier 2 Digital Scanners yet?

Brigades/Groups have been emailed Tier 2 Order confirmations and have until the 15 May to pay for their Tier 2 orders.

Need more information? To can find more information on the successful subsidy program and see a generic copy of the confirmation documents click here.

Published in VFBV News
Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00

CFA Digital Scanners - ORDERS NOW CLOSED

UPDATE 19 January 2016: ORDERS HAVE NOW CLOSED

ANNOUNCEMENT 16 October: On behalf of CFA and VFBV it is with great pleasure that we announce the availability of CFA’s new Digital Scanners.

*** A copy of this letter and paper order forms have been posted with our October mailout. Digital copies of all forms are attached below. *** 

As you are more than likely already aware, 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, with the knowledge that as CFA’s radio network transitioned to digital frequencies on the P25 digital network, almost all current analogue listening sets and scanners being used by members would become redundant. Acknowledging the significant expense that new digital capable devices represents to members, and the important role they play in many Brigades, we have been jointly working on not only a replacement scanner, but a subsidization program that would assist members with their replacement.

After an exhaustive tender, trial and selection process, the Uniden UBCD436-PT digital scanner has been selected. This will be amongst one of the first scanners available in Australian that support P25 Phase 2 digital communications, which future proofs the device as Victorian Emergency Services transition to Phase 2 P25 in the future. The scanner is backward compatible, is capable of receiving analogue and current Phase 1 P25 digital radio traffic and will come preprogramed with the current CFA/DELWP radio channel plan.

As this scanner is not currently available via retail channels, and is being manufactured and sold exclusively to CFA members before a public release next year – retail pricing is not yet available, however it is expected to retail within the $500 – $700 per unit range.

In order to provide Brigades with equitable and fair access to these units, CFA and VFBV have developed a subsidy program that will provide all brigades & groups access to a limited number of heavily subsidized units. Through a combination of project funding and a successful joint CFA/VFBV application to the VESEP program, $3 million dollars has been set aside to subsidize units for members. To ensure equitable access to this funding, brigades will have access to a guaranteed minimum of 8 units per brigade at a one off subsidy price of $150 per unit, plus postage and handling, with the subsidy budget picking up the difference. ($296.75) This effectively represents an approximate 70% discount for members. Groups will be provided with a guaranteed minimum of 2 units per group.

The 8 units per brigade, and 2 units per group will be reserved and put aside for brigades/groups to access. You will have 90 days to claim and order/pay for your reserved units at the heavily discounted price, and they will be dispatched as per the attached schedule as orders and payment are received. At the end of 90 days, any units that have not been taken up will then be re-released into the general pool, and will be equally allocated to brigades and groups based on their 2nd Tier pre-orders. If there are any remaining units, these will then be advertised, and made available to individuals on a first in first served basis until all remaining units have been exhausted.

Once the subsidization budget runs out, (expected early 2016) additional units will be made available to individual members at a cost price of $446.75 plus postage and handling.

As these units are being manufactured by Uniden exclusively for CFA, there are long lead times on orders placed with the manufacturer. Units are being received into Australia as they come off the manufacturing line. The first 3,500 units are due to arrive in the country by the 1st November, with a second and third order of units totallying another 2,500 units arriving late December and February. Again, in order to provide all brigades with equitable access to units as quickly as possible, brigades will be able to access their 8 guaranteed units in two batches. The first 3 will be dispatched immediately upon your order and payment being processed, with the remaining 5 being dispatched as soon as subsequent units arrive in the country, and dispatched in the order that orders/payment are received. Group units will be dispatched upon order and payment being processed.

It will be left to the discretion of your brigade/group to determine how the digital scanners will be distributed amongst members, and the brigade/group may determine to purchase the subsidized units from brigade/group funds or request individual members to reimburse the brigade/group for their scanner. During the subsidization program, orders will only be accepted from brigades and groups. As soon as the subsidization program is finished (expected early 2016) scanners will be available for purchase by individual members at cost price.

Payment for the first 8 scanners must accompany your brigade’s order. Cheques and money orders must be made payable to “CFA”. Payment for the first 2 group scanners must also accompany group orders..

If your brigade/group wishes to pay by direct deposit into CFA’s bank account, please indicate where shown on the order form and once your order form has been received, CFA will issue you with an invoice that will contain the direct deposit bank details for you to pay for the order. (If paying this way – you must wait for the invoice to arrive before making payment.)

CFA brigades who are still operating under their own brigade ABN and are registered for GST will need to be processed separately, and will need to wait for a Tax Invoice to be issued by CFA for the total amount payable. If you are unsure if your brigade is still operating under its own ABN, please contact the VFBV office and we can assist with your enquiries. (There are currently only 33 brigades in the state still operating under a brigade ABN – and your brigade secretary/treasurer should know.)

VFBV is providing the administrative support for the processing of orders, and as such all orders should be returned to VFBV for processing. VFBV will process and lodge all orders with CFA within 48 hours of our receiving them. Brigades will be sent an electronic confirmation of your orders lodgement.

Any questions or queries should be directed to the VFBV Office on (03) 9886 1141 or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Scanners are not endorsed for operational use, and are no replacement for an official CFA Tait portable/mobile radio. Digital scanners have no send capability, and can only listen in on communications.

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 subsidization program for the benefit of members.

Download a copy of this letter here

Download a Brigade Order Form here

Download a Group Order Form here

Download the FAQ's here

Download a sample Order Form here

Download Scanner Spec Sheet here

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can we order less than 8 units?
Yes. Brigades are guaranteed to have access to a minimum of 8 subsidized units put aside for them and available up until the 15th January 2016. You can order less than eight, but postage and handling will remain at $35 for any number up to 3 units, and a second postage and handling fee of $45 for any number of units between 4 and 8.


Groups can also order less than their guaranteed 2 units, but again the postage and handling fee will remain at $35 for dispatch of the guaranteed units.


2. How will we know how many subsidized units we can have above our initial allocation of 8? (Tier 2)
We won’t know how many are available until the 25th January 2016. This is to ensure all brigades have equal time to order and pay for their initial allocation. After the closing date of the 15th January – any units not taken up by brigades through the Tier 1 process, will then be made available in the Tier 2 program. We will then divide this total number of units left over by the number of brigades and groups requesting Tier 2 units, and that number will then be allocated proportionally amongst the Tier 2 orders until there are no subsidized units remaining.

On the 25th January, brigades and groups will be advised how many of their Tier 2 orders can be honoured, and payment will then be requested. Brigades and groups will have until the 1st March to pay for these units.


3. Are Tier 2 orders binding?
Yes. Even though you won’t have to pay for these units until we know how many are available, we will have to treat all Tier 2 orders as binding in order to know how many we can allocate to brigades and groups. You should assume that you will be asked to pay for every unit you indicate on the Tier 2 order form.


4. Who will own the units?
This is a brigade/group decision. If the brigade purchases the units using brigade funds, then they will be owned by the brigade/group and can be allocated at the brigade’s or group’s discretion.
Many brigades/groups are likely to request that individual members purchase the units at their own expense, in which case brigades/groups will determine how to prioritize the limited number of subsidized units available, but once the member reimburses the brigade/group for the unit cost, the device will then become the property of that individual.


5. How should we prioritize members if more than 8 members want to pay for a scanner?
This is a brigade decision. The brigade may elect to implement its own ranking system which might prioritize members based on their role within the brigade or group, and what benefit that member’s possession of a digital scanner would have on the brigade.

6. What if a member does not want to order through the brigade/group and just wants to buy one themselves?

Individual members will not have access to units at the subsidized price unless the full allocations to brigades and groups are not taken up. However, individuals will be able to purchase units at the full cost price when they become available. Individual orders will be treated the same as any Tier 3 orders and will be processed only after the end of the subsidization program, which is expected to finish early 2016. The manufacturer will not have any additional capacity until the end of the subsidization program, as it is expected that demand through the subsidization process will deplete all available stock.

Non CFA members will need to wait until the product is released at the retail level, which will be at the manufacturer’s discretion and is unlikely to be until well after CFA’s internal distribution program is completed.

7. Why can only brigades or groups order them?
This scanner has been developed specifically for CFA members and there is a limited budget for how many units can be subsidized by CFA. We are expecting demand to exceed supply, and are therefore relying on brigades and groups to be best placed to determine priority based on benefit to the overall community/brigade/group.

8. Can Headquarters and Coastguard brigades apply?
Yes. All registered CFA brigades and groups may apply. This includes registered Headquarters brigades and registered CFA Coastguard brigades.

9. Can Forest industry brigades apply?
No.

10. Why have groups been provided with a smaller number of guaranteed units?
For two main reasons. The first was to maintain parity and proportion with the units offered to brigades when considering membership/role numbers. The second reason being that groups received a priority allocation well above brigade allocations in the allocation of CFA Tait radios during CFA’s radio replacement project. On average, each group in the state received an allocation of 10 CFA Tait radios for use by group personnel.

11. Why will only 3 units be dispatched straight away?
These units are being manufactured exclusively for CFA. It currently takes 120 days from when CFA places an order, and when that unit is then available in the country. 3 units per brigade has been determined by how many are in the country and are available now, with additional units being dispatched as they come off the manufacturing line.

12. I own a small business. Can I purchase these units for re-sale?
No. These units are only available exclusively for CFA members until early 2016.
These units are likely to be offered to the public through the manufacturer’s normal wholesale and retail channels at some point in the future, but is unlikely to occur before the end of CFA’s distribution program. Any decision to offer the unit to the public will be solely at the discretion of the manufacturer.

Uniden Scanner

Published in VFBV News

VFBV MEDIA RELEASE Thursday, 13 August 2015

The CFA volunteers’ association says 202 CFA Brigades are about to get great news about brand new fire trucks and equipment from this year’s Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) CEO Andrew Ford said news of the successful grants was announced this morning by the Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Jane Garrett MLA.

“VESEP is a great program, this year over 200 CFA Brigades across the state will receive a share of $7.1 million in funding,” Mr Ford said.

“In addition, there was $1.9 million approved for other initiatives including funding for cold climate gear designed for volunteers attending callouts like road accidents and searches in inclement weather, where the CFA volunteers’ familiar yellow overalls don’t provide sufficient protection from the rain or cold,” he said.

“VESEP is really popular with CFA volunteers; we helped to design it, so it is low on paperwork and lets the Brigade pick from a list of trucks, equipment and fire station improvements that they can put to work for their local community”.

“The grants reward the countless hours volunteers spend in their communities raising funds for life saving equipment, and match local fundraising two for one, so a Brigade can apply for anything from a few hundred dollars for a chainsaw to $100,000 for a fire truck or specialist vehicle,” he said.

“The Brigade can choose a vehicle, operational gear, training equipment or a building project that suits their fundraising capacity and serves the local community’s needs,” Mr Ford said.

VESEP grants fund a wide range of useful projects and gear for CFA Brigades, including;

- Operational gear, such as chainsaws, pumps and generators,

- Vehicles and appliances, such as Field Command Vehicles, fire trucks and rescue trucks, and

- Improvements to fire stations, such as refurbishments like training and meeting rooms.

The $12 million VESEP program is also open to local volunteer groups from organisations including the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (AVCG), Life Saving Victoria (LSV), Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES).

“VESEP is a good example of how involving front line volunteers from the design stage of a program can make it a success that adds to the ability of local Brigades and other emergency units to protect the community,” Mr Ford said.

VFBV urges local Brigades to think about a VESEP application for next year, and provides useful tips and case studies in the VFBV VESEP Application Support Toolkit available online at www.vfbv.com.au to help with local Brigades’ applications.

CFA Brigades protect 60% of suburban Melbourne, regional cities and all of country Victoria, every day and night of the year.

NOTE TO BRIGADES - Considering applying for a VESEP grant in a future funding round?  Click here for VFBV's useful tips and case studies from past successful applications to show you how it's done.

Published in VFBV News

At the June 2015 CFA Honours & Awards Committee meeting, it was determined that the ribbon and ribbon bar for the Brigade Life Membership (Life Member Jewel) must be the colour red (Pantone Code PMS 186).

The Committee determined that a standardised ribbon colour is required for all future Brigade Life Member Medals.

To see the full story or post a comment on the CFA News & Media site, click here.

 

 

 

 

Published in CFA News

The 2014 survey scores for importance against specific statements in the ‘people management – my brigade’ theme scored equal highest against statement scores across the survey.

The statement “Workplace bullying is not tolerated in the brigades that I have been a member of” scored 9.2 for importance in the 2014 survey, consistent with the score of 9.3 received in 2013. The statement “the environment at my brigade is volunteer friendly, welcoming to new members and creates good morale” scored 9.1 for importance in the 2014 and 2013 surveys.

These scores are supported by written comments received from respondents that relate to their own brigades, with comments relating to a high level of importance amongst volunteers for a safe and welcoming brigade environment, free of bullying or other forms of harassment.

In the written comments, there is a common and substantial concern raised about bullying and harassment, and the poor level of response and support for resolving conflict when it does occur.

One interpretation of the spread and the tone of the commentary could be that when things are going well there is generally a high degree of satisfaction.

However, when there are problems in particular brigades or locations, these have a specific impact on the people involved and are generally not managed as well as they should be.

The comments are consistent with written survey responses to statement fourteen, suggesting that some brigades need more support in this area.

Comments also suggest that there are ‘cliques’, instances of ‘them and us’, ‘clubs’ and other cultural elements that negatively impact on volunteers generally as well as impacting on teamwork and the effective utilisation of many willing volunteers.

There are several comments suggesting conflict situations, problem individuals (both paid and volunteer) and problem cultural elements are not dealt with as quickly as they should be.

There is also a concerning trend suggesting that people are discouraged from speaking out and a repeating concern that officers responsible for dealing with conflict are not objective. A theme recurring through many responses is the need for better leadership development and a more effective process for dealing with conflict resolution that includes a safeguard against subjectivity (described as favouritism by some).

The commentary suggests that when things are working well (which is the predominant assessment across the survey) service as a CFA volunteer is reasonably comfortable, but when conflict escalates, the current approach does not cope as well as volunteers expect it to, leaving issues to escalate and cause long term impacts.

Some of the comments suggest a desire for CFA leadership and support staff to take a more active role when conflict resolution is required. Several comments seek a mechanism whereby VFBV or some other independent organisation can ensure reasonable protocols are in place and that appropriate support is provided to individuals in conflict or bullying situations.

Survey performance scores have dropped slightly from 2013, resulting in a gap score of 1.7. This theme is one of only two to see an increase in gap from 2013 to 2014 (respect and professionalism being the other theme with an increased gap).

West and South West Regions have lower gap scores than other Regions. Further analysis of the factors influencing these results may reveal more valuable information.

 

Sign up for the 2015 survey

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Published in Uncategorised
Thursday, 11 September 2014 00:00

Good News on Brigade Owned Vehicles

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) has welcomed the news that registration and responsibility problems with CFA Brigade Owned Vehicles (BOVs) have been resolved.

After contact with affected Brigades, initial research work and ongoing encouragement provided by the VFBV/CFA Joint Equipment and Infrastructure Committee, CFA has negotiated with the State Revenue Office and VicRoads to resolve the technical aspects of taking over responsibility for registration of BOVs.  Ownership of the vehicles will stay with the Brigades and they are able to retain their existing number plates.

When investigating moving BOVs to red plates, as was the original plan, VicRoads advised that CFA would have to transfer ownership of the vehicles to Corporate CFA, which would incur transfer fees, duty and all vehicles would require a roadworthy inspection before the new plates could be issued. It would also have resulted in the full Registration cost being applied, and not the discounted rate available to Brigades registering emergency vehicles, who currently only have to pay the TAC portion of the registration.

Following this advice, CFA & VFBV have been working through an alternative solution that would allow Brigades to add CFA as the Registered Operator of the vehicle, while retaining the ownership with the Brigade, an option typically employed by large transport fleets.  However CFA would still be required to negotiate with the State Revenue Office to keep the exemption that Brigades have on the registration cost and get permission from VicRoads to treat individual CFA Brigade ownership of the vehicles as permissible under the common registration process.

Over the past nine months, CFA has successfully negotiated with the State Revenue office and with VicRoads that results in a real win for Brigades.  Not only will Brigades be able to add CFA as the Registered Operator which removes the liability from the Brigade nominee to manage traffic infringements and registration issues, they retain ownership of the vehicle, are exempt from the transfer fees, and the first year’s registration during the transition to a common registration date will be picked up by CFA through the Volunteer Emergency Service Equipment Program.

Paperwork and transfer forms will shortly be on the way to Brigades, and VFBV Executive Officer Adam Barnett urges BMTs to get the transfer form back to CFA as soon as possible.

“This solution is a good thing for Brigades and shows the strength of the VFBV/CFA Joint Committee system, with the issue raised by volunteers, moved along by the Committee, and resolved by action at Government Departmental level by CFA,” Mr Barnett said.

“It offers improved support to volunteers and Brigades at the front line, resolves a long standing source of problems for BMT members and lets them concentrate on providing frontline emergency service to their communities,” he said.

He also paid tribute to CFA Fleet Services who have worked extremely hard negotiating with the State Revenue Office and VicRoads to reach this solution.

While CFA and VFBV have only been able to agree on CFA funding of BOV registrations for the first year, CFA has committed to working with VFBV over the next 12 months to investigate options to make this arrangement more permanent.  Brigades are increasingly reporting the inadequacy of their Brigade allowances, from which registration costs are normally paid, and VFBV will continue to pursue either an increase to Brigade allowances, or the reduction of costs incurred by Brigades.

Published in VFBV News
Monday, 28 October 2013 15:48

BRIGADE ALLOWANCE REVIEW 2013

FEEDBACK DEADLINE EXTENDED TO THE END OF NOVEMBER

CFA is undertaking a review of the Annual Brigade Allowance that is made to Brigades.

As part of a consultation process with member Brigades, VFBV is seeking advice and feedback from Brigade Management Teams on the types of expenses that notionally the Brigade Allowance makes a contribution towards.

Additionally, the move of all Brigades to Risk Based Classifications over the next few years as part of the CFA’s Brigade and Member Classification Project provides a good opportunity to review the intent for the Annual Brigade Allowance, the Brigade expenses it is intended to contribute towards and the amount / form that these allowances are made based on every Brigades Classification.

All Brigades will have receivede correspondence and a questionnaire from VFBV during October (see below to download a copy) seeking feedback to equip VFBV with solid evidence of the requirements volunteers in Brigades seek as part of this Brigade Allowance Review.

Extended deadline: feedback to VFBV is due by 30 November 2013.

Published in VFBV News

Issue 5, 19 May 2013

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV.

 

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM TRAINING PROJECT – IMTTP

The IMTT Project continues to progress the development of 14 common training packages that will be adopted sector wide. The outcomes are to prepare IMT personnel with common training pathways and will require standardised training packages, assessments, qualifications and endorsements irrespective off agency and not differentiating between paid or volunteer.

A number of pilots are in the process of being conducted with most recently a pilot for Warnings and Advice Officers. VFBV sought and received assurances that all future pilots at all levels will be conducted in both weekday and weekend format options to permit volunteer participation.

As the IMTTP is multi agency focussed, the Heads of Agencies Panel that endorses the training, assessment, qualification and endorsement processes has agreed to a Skills Maintenance / Accreditation period of 5 years with elements of currency of skills and experiences included in the requirements. VFBV delegates expressed some concerns that such a defined timeline may disadvantage volunteers who have much less opportunity to perform roles based on seasonal activity fluctuations. Exercising and scenario testing along with opportunities for involvement in fuel reduction activities may provide volunteers with adequate opportunity to exercise their skills outside of emergency response situations. VICPOL is responsible under the Fire Services Commissioner’s strategy for Exercising and drafts are being prepared to establish regular scenario and exercise regimes.

A Sector Commander pilot course that was conducted has seen the need to re-model the program with the plan to conduct a further Multi Agency pilot course in the second half of 2013.

____________________________________________________________________________

BOSP REVIEW

CFA is undertaking a review of the Brigade Operational Skills Profile (BOSP) tool with a view to matching the elements of the profile to Brigade Classifications. VFBV delegates expressed their concerns that the current BOSP tool is applied as a ‘Maximum Model’, defined in isolation and with no consultation with brigades as to the operational requirements or specific needs of brigades.

VFBV delegates indicated that the setting of arbitrary limits for particular qualifications or skills as a ‘desirable target’ is reasonable, however, the field practice of judging a brigades performance or capability by the application of generic number limits reviewed at annual Section 29 Inspection is flawed and can unreasonably hamper or restrict a Brigade Management Team’s ability to plan and deliver skills acquisition to their responder members. VFBV delegates indicated that feedback from many Regions across the State indicate that brigades with notional numbers on or above their BOSP limit are resulting in training applications for some courses being refused on the basis of ‘you already have enough’. VFBV delegates cautioned CFA to reflect on the risk that in many cases without the ability to translate some older members who hold the competencies but may be less active to what was once known as ‘Reserve listing’, the churn of newer members who have a desire to attain new competencies may be stifled if BOSP numbers continue to limit volunteer training opportunities.

INCREASED UTILISATION OF VOLUNTEERS AS TRAINERS & ASSESSORS

VFBV delegates have brought reports to CFA of a wide inconsistency in the utilisation of volunteer trainers and assessors from across the State, particularly in the authorisations provided to volunteers to conduct training and assessment in a wide range of core and foundation skills and competencies. CFA have advised that they are requesting a comprehensive report from each Region of the approved trainers and assessors and the units/elements of competencies that they are approved to deliver and assess. VFBV delegates have expressed their support for a more transparent and consistent approach that delivers an organisational consistency in the future.

Published in Training Committee
Monday, 01 July 2013 13:13

Simplifying VFBV Structure and Rules

SIMPLIFYING VFBV STRUCTURE AND RULES

VFBV is moving towards removing urban and rural brigade distinctions from its constitution – see below to download the discussion paper.

The discussion papers outlines the background, the need to make a change and the options being considered.  It also includes a feedback form that can be emailed, mailed or faxed to the VFBV office.

The need to change our constitution:

  • This is part of the process that began with the forming of VFBV from the old urban and rural associations
  • CFA is moving from urban and rural brigade classifications to a system of risk based brigade classifications more relevant to modern community needs

Please download the discussion paper below to see the options.  You can make your opinions known by returning the feedback form included in the paper, or by taking part in discussion at your District Council.

Published in VFBV News
Monday, 11 March 2013 00:00

VFBV Publications

This page is a resource for volunteers, with a wide range of useful documents for download, including;

To find VFBV's monthly newsletter, our Page 2 column in FireWise, click here.

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Published in Library
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 00:00

Affiliation with VFBV

Affiliating with VFBV

Any CFA Brigade or Group can affiliate with the VFBV. Invoices for Brigade & Welfare Fund affiliations are sent out by mail.

To be eligible to subscribe to the Welfare Fund, your Brigade must be affiliated with VFBV, which pays all of the Fund's operating costs.

The number of Brigades and Groups affiliating with VFBV has risen steadily in recent years to record levels.

 

Advantages of Affiliation

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) is the voice of CFA Volunteers, and is established under the Country Fire Authority Act.  VFBV represents all CFA volunteers in communication with the CFA Board and Management, Governments, Members of Parliament, councils, instrumentalities, business and the public.

CFA is a volunteer-based emergency service, providing an internationally renowned and cost effective system of protecting our state from fire.  In the interests of maintaining and developing the service, with its inherent community capacity building advantages, VFBV provides CFA with a direct connection to the volunteers, and the benefits of their experience and practical advice on;

•strategic and practical leadership;
•effective planning; 
•volunteer support services;
•recruitment and sustainment programs;
•accessible quality training;
•equipment and infrastructure.

VFBV maintains direct links with grass roots volunteers, understanding their issues, needs and concerns through a state-wide network of District Councils and elected volunteer representatives. The VFBV Board meets with the CFA Board as the peak forum for strategic consultation on matters affecting volunteers, from policy development and volunteer welfare, to equipment, infrastructure, volunteer development and planning for CFA’s future.  VFBV and CFA also have Joint Committees that meet regularly with CFA Department Heads and Chiefs to discuss all matters affecting volunteers.  The two organisations also form working parties from time to time to work through smaller or one-off projects.

Make your Voice Heard

Affiliation gets you a seat at this very important table, and gives you a voice.  Affiliation entitles you to send two delegates from your brigade to be represented at District Council, and entitles you to two votes on all matters raised for endorsement. Your delegates are able to influence policy and decision, as well as represent your brigades’ views and concerns at a District level, and at a State level through State Council.  Your Brigade can also apply for representation on Joint-Committees, Working Parties and Reference Groups by getting involved in your District Council.

Some brigades think that they should only be affiliated if they wish to compete in the Urban or Rural Championships. Whilst the championships provide an important further dimension to Brigade life and the role the volunteer association plays in a coordinating and supportive role, there are many other reasons why affiliation should be important to your Brigade.

Affiliated Brigades have access to a wide field of support that comes from our statewide representation.  Not only can this be a crucial sounding board, where your brigade can learn from the experiences of hundreds of other brigades, but the depth of knowledge and commonality of issues means your Brigade can receive assistance on any number of issues that arise from time to time.  Whether it’s advice on a new appliance, help in influencing a CFA policy or decision, or help in mediating an issue between your Brigade and a CFA Officer or Manager, you have ready access to a broad range of support.  Because of our strong representation at all levels of CFA, we have the negotiating power and strength that comes from numbers that make VFBV a strong advocate on issues that affect your Brigade and all CFA volunteers.

Affiliation also makes your brigade eligible to be a part of the Welfare Fund, which provides support to volunteers facing difficult financial situations due to loss of work, family illness or death, accidental injury or even drought or floods.  When your 0Brigade subscribes, the fund provides coverage for all volunteer members of the brigade, their families and any ex-member of a brigade who was a registered volunteer for 20 years or more.

The Benefits

In summary, if your Brigade wants its voice to be heard, if you think your Brigade should have an effective say in CFA policy and procedures, then it is crucial that you affiliate.  Being part of VFBV provides your Brigade with a direct pathway to CFA and its decision makers, and offers strong volunteer representation through District Councils, Forums, Joint Committees and working parties.  It provides your Brigade with a gateway to a broad range of support and knowledge, and provides crucial assistance and support in the times when you need it most.

Through affiliation, all brigades can share experience, knowledge and costs, to the benefit of every CFA volunteer.  Every affiliated brigade plays an important role in our efforts to maintain an effective community based volunteer system of fire and emergency service, supported by highly trained and dedicated operational, training, support and administrative staff at strategic locations.

A brigade on its own has a limited capacity to influence.  Being part of a statewide network of brigades that are focussed on your issues and needs provides strong and credible representation at the highest levels of the CFA’s organisation.  VFBV not only provides your brigade with practical support, but also strategic support  in ensuring volunteers get the respect, recognition and support for themselves and their families, and for their self sacrifice and the commitment they make to protecting our community.

Affiliation with VFBV is an investment in building the CFA of tomorrow into a more effective emergency service that makes use of the experience and knowledge of its volunteers and looks after their needs.

Annual Reports

VFBV Annual Reports are presented at each years Annual General Meeting, and then posted to all member Brigades shortly thereafter. (usually October).

 

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Published in Membership
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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