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Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:00

Emergency Services Volunteers Train for Leadership

VFBV Media Release

Fifty five emergency services volunteers from six organisations have just graduated from a leadership scholarship program run by Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV), the CFA volunteers’ association.

The volunteers are serving in Brigades, flotillas and units all over Victoria, and have achieved the nationally recognised Certificate IV in Frontline Management, delivered for VFBV by Chisholm TAFE.

The volunteers received their Certificates a few days ago, with presentations by VFBV Chief Executive Officer Andrew Ford, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, Mr Henry Plumptre of international racehorse breeding organisation Darley and Mr Ray Jopling of Chisholm TAFE.

VFBV Chief Executive Officer Andrew Ford said this latest group of graduates includes volunteers from CFA, Ambulance Victoria, Lifesaving Victoria, the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, St John Ambulance and VICSES.

“The new scholarship graduates now have a nationally recognised qualification in leadership that will help them in their day to day careers, their work as emergency volunteers and their contributions to the community for years to come,” Mr Ford said.

“Victoria’s tens of thousands of volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our emergency services, and investing in volunteer leadership is a contribution to the vital work of encouraging, maintaining and strengthening Victoria’s emergency sector volunteer capacity,” he said.

“Leadership skills are part of the professionalism that makes volunteers vital contributors from the front line to the highest levels of decision making.”

“VFBV is forever grateful to the people who enabled us to put this and other programs into action with their donations. Particular supporters in the early days were International racehorse breeding and racing organisation Darley and the Victoria Racing Club, who were fundamental to our being able to begin this program in 2010 and remain active and generous supporters of VFBV,” Mr Ford said.

Many graduates of the earlier courses are now serving in leadership roles with their Brigades and units, as well as in representing volunteers at higher levels and contributing as leaders in their local communities.

The VFBV Leadership Scholarship course has been designed for volunteers, with a mix of lectures and interactive activities designed to suit the needs of adult students, as well as ample support using distance learning methods. To reduce travel time for the volunteers, the classroom sessions were made available at three locations: Colac, Inverloch and Mooroopna.

The course includes units on; leadership, decision making, planning, safety and risk management, team effectiveness, making presentations, managing projects, and engaging the community.

The VFBV Leadership Scholarship program is funded by VFBV, in large part through a trust established with public donations received after Black Saturday from generous donors such as international racehorse breeding organisation Darley, the Herald Sun and the Victoria Racing Club.

In recent years, the program has received top up funding and support from the Victorian Government through the Valuing Volunteers Program, which has assisted VFBV in extending the program to a larger number of emergency service agencies, including SES, Lifesaving Victoria, Ambulance Victoria and the St John Ambulance. The qualification is provided under the auspices of Chisholm Institute of TAFE.

VFBV emphatically acknowledges and thanks Darley for their ongoing support and enthusiasm for emergency service volunteers, and in particular their support of VFBV’s leadership program, which would not have been possible without their generous donation to VFBV following Black Saturday.

In particular this year’s Graduation ceremony would not have been possible without the generosity of Darley with their organisational assistance, the Victoria Racing Club and Racing Victoria.

Among this year’s 55 graduates are 27 from CFA, 16 from VICSES, four from the Australian Volunteer Coastguard, three from Life Saving Victoria, three from St John Ambulance and two from Ambulance Victoria.

This year’s course brings the total number of graduates to more than 230, with another 50 set to graduate in 2016. VFBV launched the program for CFA volunteers in 2010 and began expanding it to include other emergency organisations in 2012.

Ends…

Read 10704 times Last modified on Friday, 18 December 2015 10:11
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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