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Updated 18 December 2015 with a special VFBV Message to Volunteers

VFBV Message to Volunteers

Many of you will be aware that the release of the Fire Services Review report and the State Government’s response have been postponed until after the bushfire season.

Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett will now lead a working group of Ministers to study the Review’s findings in depth and report back to the Government.

VFBV acknowledges that many volunteers are frustrated with the delay and we certainly share their feelings of disappointment. However, given that we are already into what is clearly going to be a long and busy summer, I suggest we take the opportunity to get on with the job at hand and concentrate on the important work of protecting the community.

When the Review’s report does become public, volunteers will need to be ready to have their say. By visiting www.vfbv.com.au you can see our submission and VFBV’s September 28 letter to the Minister and all MPs, outlining the key issues of concern. I encourage each of you to read them and discuss your thoughts with your fellow volunteers. 

Also in September, VFBV requested a meeting with the Minister to discuss issues coming out of the Fire Services Review before any decisions affecting volunteers are made. The Minister offered to meet with us after the report has been presented, and with its release newly postponed I will make another request that we meet and discuss the issues at the earliest opportunity.

GENDER EQUITY AND WORKPLACE CULTURE

The Government has also announced that the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner will examine issues around gender equity and workplace culture in Victoria’s emergency services, and I very strongly encourage all VFBV delegates to show leadership in actively welcoming and engaging in this work. Support for greater diversity in CFA is something VFBV has recognised as a real opportunity, and where there are gaps, an area warranting concerted effort to achieve improvement.

Any move towards encouraging greater diversity with regard to gender, cultures and ages in CFA, is something that will strengthen Brigades’ connections with the communities we protect and increase the pool of potential volunteers.

Minister Garrett has expressed concern that only 3% of CFA and MFB operational staff are women. In comparison, approximately 20% of all CFA volunteers are women and nearly 5,000 of those volunteer women are operational members.

I am assuming the activation of this work to examine issues around gender equity and workplace culture has been identified during the Fire Services Review, and we have already seen the Jones Inquiry into the effect of arrangements made by the Country Fire Authority on its Volunteers identifying culture and human resource management issues requiring attention.

Judge David Jones noted in his report that “CFA culture, leadership and human resource management are keys to maintaining and strengthening the community’s understanding of, confidence in, support for and active participation in the volunteer based emergency service model for Victoria, which is consequently fundamental to the future success of the CFA”.

Judge Jones also observed that “Improving leadership in CFA from top to bottom is key to the success of the CFA integrated model – this cannot be over emphasised and is one of CFA’s biggest challenges”.

The annual VFBV Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Survey has also asked volunteers for their opinions on diversity and workplace culture issues, and found they strongly desire an environment in CFA that welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds as well as different religious, political and personal beliefs; actively discourages workplace bullying; and ensures that there are no barriers to the roles women can occupy in Brigades.

The 2015 survey results show that although CFA performance in this area is scored comparatively well against other areas, it still needs attention. The results showed that female volunteers saw a greater gap between the importance of equity and diversity issues and CFA’s actual performance.

CFA VOLUNTEERS; READY FOR SUMMER

With the fire season well and truly here, and considering many parts of the state have already been extremely busy with large and serious incidents, my message to the Minister has been that the CFA and Emergency Management sector need to be supported in focusing on the immediate task of protecting the community.

Many volunteers have expressed frustration that CFA is in an era of review upon review, but we must not let this damage the spirit of CFA or the professional standards of protection we provide to the community every day and night of the year.

We know CFA is an overwhelmingly great organisation, achieving great things in communities across Victoria, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep looking for areas for improvement and ironing out any issues we find on the way.

 


 

 

Media Release - Wednesday 16th December 2015

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) has welcomed the State Government’s decision to engage Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins to examine issues around
gender equity and workplace culture in Victoria’s emergency services.

Representing Victoria’s 60,000 CFA volunteers, VFBV sees the announcement as a move towards encouraging greater diversity, not just of gender, but of cultures and ages in CFA.

VFBV Chief Executive Officer Andrew Ford said greater diversity means practical benefits for Brigades and the communities they protect. 

“Having more diversity of gender, cultures and ages will strengthen CFA Brigades’ connections with the communities we protect and increase the pool of potential volunteers,” Mr Ford said.

Minister Garrett has highlighted the fact that only 3% of CFA and MFB operational staff are women.

“Among CFA volunteers, approximately 20% of all volunteers are women and nearly 5,000 of those women are front line firefighters,” Mr Ford said.

“CFA volunteers serve in front line, command and specialist roles at all levels, and provide CFA’s great surge capacity, the ability to field thousands of trained, experienced firefighters to deal with major and multiple incidents wherever they occur,” he said.

“We see diversity as not only ensuring that essential response capacity into the future, but adding to CFA Brigades’ connection with every part of the community.”

“VFBV looks forward to supporting the efforts of Minister Garrett and CFA CEO Lucinda Nolan to drive gender equity across CFA,” Mr Ford said.

 

Download the VFBV Message to Volunteers here

Published in VFBV News

Since the submission date for the Inquiry closed, and following detailed discussion at VFBV State Council in September, VFBV has written to all Victorian Members of Parliament with a summary of our submission to the State Government’s Fire Services Review – see below for a copy of the letter.

The letter includes an introduction to the broader issues and a list of points that volunteers are particularly concerned about.

VFBV has also offered to have volunteer representatives meet with any MPs who would like to discuss the issues or learn more about volunteers’ concerns at the state level or in their local area. 

MPs are invited to call the VFBV office on (03) 9886 1141 if they would like to make contact with their local CFA volunteer delegates.

 

VFBV'S Letter to all State MPs, dated 28 September 2015

Dear Member

VFBV submission to the State Government’s Fire Services Review

As the association representing CFA volunteers, VFBV has recently made an extensive submission to the Fire Services Review. The VFBV submission and relevant material is available via the VFBV website (visit www.vfbv.com.au) and I encourage you to visit our website to read or download this material, as it explains a number of key matters about which volunteers feel very strongly.

Perceptions about the Review’s focus, process and background context have given rise to significant anxiety amongst Victoria’s volunteers, particularly over a number of principles fundamental to CFA’s future success as a volunteer based organisation.

The key and critical principles that volunteers find essential are the following:

♦ The obligations, duties and aspirations both express and implied in the CFA Volunteer Charter as recognised in the current CFA Act and the maintenance of Section 6 of the Act are fundamental to CFA volunteerism and its success in delivering CFA services to the people of Victoria. Critically, flowing from these and in recognition of the core role volunteers play in Victoria’s emergency management, any decision making that may impact on volunteers at any level of government or its agencies must incorporate volunteers in that process and the effects on volunteer capacity must be a clear, transparent and fair feature of such decision making.

♦ Recognition of the importance that the CFA Board has strong volunteer expertise, knowledge and understanding of CFA volunteerism must continue and the engagement of volunteers through current arrangements for volunteer nomination to and level of representation on the CFA Board as currently provided. These arrangements are central to the engagement and utilisation of volunteer knowledge and experience.

♦ The CFA must have genuine ability and empowerment to govern and manage resource decisions, including internal resource allocation and prioritisation of support to volunteers consistent with its current statutory obligations. This includes the powers of the Chief Officer to determine all operational and related matters free of external interference save from the requirements of the CFA Act as currently set out and the statutory role of the Emergency Management Commissioner.

♦ Active removal of external interference and arrangements (including those affecting CFA, EMV and Government) that impede, or block volunteers from being genuinely involved in decision making on all matters which may impact on them including proposed legislation and the adequacy of resources to enable volunteers to deliver the agreed services. 

♦ The CFA Budget and priorities must be established at a level and grow as required with such spending and resource priorities so as to ensure that volunteers maintain and continue to grow their capacity to provide CFA services to the people of urban and rural Victoria and provide Victoria with a high level surge capacity to deal with emergencies across the state. The determination and order of budget priorities consistent with this must be determined without inappropriate external interference or influence, and consistent with its statutory, governance and administrative accountabilities, obligations and requirements.

♦ CFA Budget priorities must ensure that there is sufficient resourcing to provide volunteers with best possible access to necessary training, up to date facilities and equipment including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), communications and vehicles, legal protection, and appropriate financial compensation for injury, illness and personal loss sustained during service to the people of Victoria.

♦ There must be transparency with regard to the determination, collection and expenditure of the Fire Services Levy (FSL).

♦ The total additional cost of any additional initiatives determined by government and not conforming to the order of CFA determined priorities must be resourced separately by government for the duration of the initiative and must not interfere in any way with CFA meeting its resource priorities for encouraging, maintaining and strengthening the capacity of volunteers to deliver CFA services to Victoria.

♦ CFA high level resourcing priorities must include volunteer support and capacity strengthening, including appropriate expansion of the BASO program, training and skills maintenance including first aid training, leadership development, and provision of EMR services to the public by volunteers, fixing communications problems and cyclic vehicle/appliance replacement.

♦ A culture of respect for volunteers, including ensuring there is no discrimination nor any barriers against volunteers simply because they are not paid. This includes barriers to the roles volunteers perform; access to training for volunteers demonstrating a willingness and capacity for higher level training; or utilisation and acceptance of volunteers’ authority and role in command and control within CFA and the broader emergency services.  There should also be a leadership culture of active intolerance to any discrimination against volunteers based on their volunteer status.

♦ Acceptance that appropriately trained and experienced volunteers can carry out duties of any designation within CFA and Victoria’s emergency management sector and proactive effort to engage their active utilisation in such roles. 

♦ Active encouragement and facilitation of individual volunteers demonstrating a willingness and capacity for high level training and utilisation in command and control and other CFA roles for training, building experience and sustaining qualifications, including for IMTs and the highest levels in incident control.

♦ Government and CFA’s active public and institutional promotion and demonstrated respect for CFA (and other emergency service) volunteers and the essential role they play in Victoria’s safety including advocacy against public attacks made on volunteers.

In summary, volunteers are particularly concerned about:

  • Erosion of CFA’s ability to govern, manage resource decisions and allocate appropriate priority to resourcing/supporting the capacity of volunteers to deliver CFA services
  • Erosion of the CFA Chief Officer’s statutory powers and operational decision making ability 
  • The need to improve consultation with volunteers and/or the representation of volunteer knowledge and expertise at key decision forums in any future arrangements
  • Erosion of the obligations, intent and authority of the CFA Volunteer Charter and/or the practical application of the CFA Volunteer Charter
  • Any decision making processes at CFA, EMV or Government that impact on volunteers but block volunteers out of the process
  • Any cuts to CFA budget relating to volunteer support and volunteer capacity building forced because of the need to pay for externally imposed or new commitments 
  • Any failure to fully additionally fund externally imposed or new commitments  for the life of the commitment
  • Ensuring adequate investment in resources for training of volunteers and for volunteer equipment, facilities, personal protection, service related injury/illness compensation etc.
  • Any diversion of funding raised through the Fire Service Levy and the Government’s related share to other cost areas
  • Continuation of industrial agreements that establish power of veto that overrides legitimate CFA decision making or block CFA progressing volunteer support initiatives, resource allocation and CFA organisational structure
  • External direction to CFA Board or management that is not transparent, justifiable and consistent with legislation
  • Resourcing priorities and funding allocation decisions that ignore more cost effective and reliably beneficial opportunities to encourage, maintain and strengthen the capacity of volunteers to deliver CFA services (specifically referencing section 6i of the CFA Act)
  • Any discrimination in the roles volunteers can perform, training opportunities for volunteers or recognition of volunteers’ skills/expertise simply because they are not paid
  • Failure to positively advocate the essential nature, benefits and professional capacity of the CFA volunteer based system.

If decisions are made that are not consistent with these principles and concerns, we fear the consequence will be a legacy of diminished emergency management volunteer capacity for Victoria. Our desire and commitment is to work with you towards a positive atmosphere so that volunteers can focus their energy on continuing to provide dedicated services to the community and prepare for the forthcoming summer.

Volunteers want certainty about the real respect and commitment of all key decision makers across Government and institutions to the service they currently provide day and night, every day of the year.

Volunteers want it known that they are committed to the safety of the communities they serve and will strongly resist changes that they feel are not in the best interests of their community.

I am hopeful that you find the VFBV submission to the Fire Services Review and the points outlined above useful to our continuing endeavour to keep all Victorian MPs well informed about matters of fundamental importance to volunteers.

As always I would be more than happy to discuss these matters with you at your convenience.

Yours Sincerely,

Andrew Ford

Chief Executive Officer

 

<Click here to return to the Fire Services Review Submission page>

Published in Uncategorised
Friday, 09 October 2015 00:00

Fire Services Review - 18 December Update

UPDATE: Click here for the 18 December Message to Volunteers

VFBV FINAL SUBMISSION  VFBV's LETTER TO MPs

VFBV INITIAL SUBMISSION   VFBV NOTES FOR VOLUNTEERS

WATCH THIS SPACE - The Review's final report and the Government's response have been postponed until after the bushfire season - both are likely to have important ramifications for volunteers everywhere and Brigades should be ready to study them as soon as they become available.

Click on the list below to see VFBV's submission and supporting documents - if you have made submission to the Review and would like to make it available on this page, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

What is the Fire Services Review?

The Review was set up as a comprehensive review of MFB and CFA – a serious issue for volunteers - and the review was run on a very short time frame.

See the State Government media release here and the Review’s Terms of Reference here. See below for what VFBV had to say on some of the issues.

VFBV's Final Submission to the Fire Services Review

VFBV's Initial Submission - Dated 14 August 2015

Published in Other News
Thursday, 24 September 2015 00:00

Fire Services Review - Latest Update

Click here to hear ABC774’s on air forum on the Fire Services Review, with Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, VFBV’s Andrew Ford and the United Firefighters’ Union’s Peter Marshall. The forum went to air on Thursday, 7 April, on Jon Faine’s Conversation Hour.

VFBV Chief Executive Officer Andrew Ford’s Note to Members on the Government’s Response to the Fire Services Review’s recommendations

The Government has now released the Fire Services Review report and probably more importantly the State Government’s response to the report’s recommendations.

Both of these documents are available for download below and also from the Fire Services Review website.  The Fire Services Review website includes copies of all public submissions including VFBV, CFA and EMV submissions.

I think most CFA volunteers will be pleased overall with the Government’s response to the review.  A key theme throughout the review is a recognition of the enormous front line and collective capacity of Victoria’s fire services.  There is a very strong theme of needing to ensure there is a culture and collective respect of the skills, knowledge and professionalism of Victorian firefighters, volunteer and paid staff alike, regardless of pay status.  The report calls to improve leadership and to address a concerning culture that has tolerated; treating people differently based on pay status; bullying and harassment; poor front line worker and management relationships; and a ‘them and us’ approach.

There is a strong call for everyone in the sector to focus more energy on working as one.  There is strong recognition of the need for CFA to have more flexibility in the way it deploys resources to support local brigades and community circumstances, and there is an identified need to improve leadership from agency executive level through to Brigade level and across the sector’s collective leadership.

The review recognises the strengths of the existing fire services and says that effort should be focussed on ensuring the separate fire services share common effort, reduce duplication and work as one.  The report explicitly advises against any contemplation of amalgamating the MFB and CFA, reporting that this would have a negative rather than constructive impact. 

The report acknowledges the extensive and essential capacity of CFA’s volunteer Brigades and the fundamental value of sustaining and building strong integration in those communities where paid staff are required to supplement volunteer capacity.  The report identifies the essential nature of CFA’s volunteer Brigade surge capacity for major and concurrent events.

There are 20 recommendations, and the Government has identified an action to address 18 of these.  Several recommendations are earmarked for further discussion/work and the Government has committed to work with VFBV and others on the detail of these.

Based on some commonly discussed issues during the review, many volunteers will be particularly interested in the following recommendations and government response;

  • Recommendation 9, concerning consideration of a Firefighters’ Registration Board – Government response is to initiate national consultation on this over the next five years.  The report detail suggests this would need to be open to volunteers and paid firefighters alike and would provide an opportunity to facilitate lateral entry and recognise skills, irrespective of whether they are paid or volunteer.
  • Recommendation 18, concerning deploying Leading Firefighters or Station Officers to provide administrative, technical, community engagement and operational support to volunteer Brigades.  The Government has supported the intent of finding ways to support volunteer Brigades, but has noted the best means to deliver that support requires further consideration.
  • Recommendation 17, includes recommendation that CFA review the process for selecting Brigade Captains.  Government response suggests a selection process be developed to enhance the current approach to focus on ensuring the necessary leadership and technical skills needed for the role.  This work has a timeframe of the next two years.
  • Recommendation 5, includes developing best practice models for initiation and planning for the establishment of integrated Brigades and the selection of leaders of integrated Brigades, drawing on successful processes adopted to date.  Government response is that CFA is to lead a short review to identify best practices.
  • There are also recommendations concerning training; health & wellbeing; developing leadership; and better engagement with volunteers and representative bodies.

VFBV will seek to be very closely involved with work on these and the actions proposed for all other recommendations.

Of interest is an acknowledgement to include VFBV on EMV’s Fire Services Interoperability Committee.  This is consistent with VFBV’s previous requests to EMC Craig Lapsley and also an issue covered in our submission to the review.  VFBV has previously expressed dissatisfaction to the EMC about not being included in this important forum.

There are several recommendations relating to culture in the fire services and issues specifically relating to bullying and harassment.   VFBV has already welcomed the CFA-commissioned Equity and Diversity Review being conducted by VEOHRC.

At a more strategic level, there are recommendations involving consideration of possible future service delivery models, a review of CFA and MFB legislation, and a review of the legislation giving powers to EMV, but no specific direction set down as yet.  VFBV will certainly be taking a keen interest to ensure these important issues progress in a positive way.

See below to download a copy of VFBV’s media release supporting the Government's response, the Fire Services Review report and the Government’s response.

VFBV has supported the Government’s response to the Fire Services Review and commended Minister Garrett for taking the time to make a sensible and considered response.  We have also welcomed the invitation to work with Government on the issues requiring further consideration.    Over all, our reaction to the Government’s response to the review’s recommendations is positive and I believe this provides a good foundation for us to work constructively with Government and the CFA.  I have said publicly, as you will see in our media release, that in the main the Government’s response to the Fire Services Review is on the mark, and for the issues requiring more work, VFBV looks forward to working with Government, the agencies and other stakeholders.

Andrew Ford

Chief Executive Officer

 

VFBV's submission to the Fire Services Review

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) lodged a detailed 48 page submission with the State Government’s Fire Services Review, with considerable contributions from VFBV Delegates and individual volunteers. It was lodged alongside many more submissions from District Councils, Brigades and volunteers.

Our submission drew upon the work we have done on 11 other inquiries and reviews since 2008, including data from the annual VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey and issues already being raised through VFBV’s extensive consultative networks.

Volunteers noted the Minister’s statements at the time of the announcement of the Review, that an amalgamation of CFA and MFB “is not on the Government’s agenda” and that “Victoria’s fire services and their boundaries will remain intact”.

The covering letter from VFBV and VFBV’s submission to the Review raised a number of issues familiar to volunteers, and there was a detailed summary in the accompanying VFBV Notes for Volunteers – all three documents are available for download below.

 

Published in VFBV News

FIRE SERVICES REVIEW - UPDATE

The Fire Services Review has been granted a two week extension and will now report to the State Government by 14 October.

The Review team has also announced that they will not publish the submissions received until then.

For more details, see the Fire Services Review website.

Published in VFBV News

Attention: CFA Volunteers

The open letter from Minister Jane Garrett (below) was received by VFBV this afternoon for circulation to our volunteer communications networks.

Please assist by forwarding the Ministers open letter to fellow CFA volunteers.

In addition to the Ministers invitation for submissions by members of the public and CFA Brigades, VFBV will make a detailed submission. VFBV District Councils are already in the process of facilitating as much discussion as possible within the timeframe provided by the review.  

I encourage your active input to VFBV discussion and/or direct input to the Fire Services Review via details provided in the Minister’s Open Letter (attached).   David O’Byrne has advised that submissions can be made on a confidential basis and I encourage volunteers to provide input no matter how brief or detailed. 

Andrew Ford

Chief Executive Officer

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria

 


A message from Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett to Victoria's volunteer firefighters

The work you do as CFA volunteers makes a vital contribution to keeping our state safe.

You have Victoria's enduring thanks for the countless times you have protected lives and property in the face of natural disasters.

As you know, the Andrews Labor Government has commissioned a review into Victoria's firefighting services. This will ensure Victoria maintains its world-class fire services.

Some people think this review is designed to amalgamate the CFA and the MFB.

I'm writing to you to assure you that this is not the case and that this idea is not on the government's agenda.

Victoria’s fire services and their boundaries will remain intact.

The review will focus on major issues facing fire agencies. This includes identifying the support volunteer brigades require to remain viable into the future.

As part of this, the reviewer Mr David O'Byrne is talking to people across our fires services community, including Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria.

Members of the public, including volunteer brigades can make submissions via the dedicated Fire Services Review webpage: https://myviews.justice.vic.gov.au/fireservicesreview or in writing to the Fire Services Review, Level 30, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000.

Submissions will be taken until the 31st of August as the review is due to be finalised before the beginning of the fire season.

If you have any queries in relation to the review, please contact the review secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Click here to return to VFBV's Fire Services Review page

Published in Uncategorised
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 00:00

Fire Services Review (FSR) – Media

The Fire Services Review has attracted a number of stories and comments in the media;

Herald Sun - Tuesday, 11 August 2015 - Volunteer Fireys Fear Divide

The Age, Letters Page - Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - Firing up the CFA

 

Click here to return to the Fire Services Review page

Published in Uncategorised
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 00:00

Last Call for ESF Volunteer Leaders Forum

The Application deadline for this year’s Emergency Services Foundation’s Volunteer Leaders Forum is this Friday, 10th April.

There are a few spots still available, and it’s all free.  All you have to do is get yourself there.

Again, it will be based at the St Kilda Novotel on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May 2015.

Delegates will meet top people in emergency services, from the Victorian Minister for Emergency Services to the Director-General of Emergency Management Australia.  And they’ll also hear from some pretty amazing people, volunteers who’ve achieved great things in their sector.

They will also visit the State Police Operations Centre, Airservices Australia’s training centre at Tullamarine and the Department of Environment’s special Equipment Development Unit.

The full program is contained in the flyer, which you can download at http://www.hpe.com.au/esf/esfvols.html

Delegates will receive free accommodation at the hotel (generally twinshare) on the Friday and Saturday nights.  All meals are provided on Saturday and Sunday, including the BBQ and USAR display on Saturday evening.

If you have ‘leadership potential’, complete the Application Form in the flyer, and get it back to the secretariat immediately.  We expect more applicants than places, so make sure you get in quickly.

Successful applicants will be advised by Friday 17th April.

 

Published in Other News
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 00:00

Emergency Services Foundation Scholarship 2015

Applications closing soon.

The Emergency Services Scholarship Foundation awards fellowships and grants under the ESF Scholarship Scheme to members of the Victorian emergency services that provide assistance to the Victorian community, to aid them to undertake advanced studies in Australia and overseas.

Scholarship proposals can focus on a range of areas containing a primary interest in pre-hospital emergency health or emergency services including but not limited to:

           - Pre-hospital emergency patient treatment

           - Emergency prevention

           - Preparedness, response, recovery and risk management elements of their agency’s roles

           - Lessening hazards experience by emergency service workers

           - Pre-hospital care.

Although relevance across a range of agencies is an advantage, it is not mandatory.

For more information, see the Emergency Services Foundation website;  http://www.esf.com.au/scholarships.htm and see the ESF Application Information Pack.

INTERESTED VOLUNTEERS should contact Jenny Davis (Executive Officer Emergency Services Foundation) on 0406 003 765 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Applicants should avoid submissions that duplicate research undertaken by previous scholarship winners.

Published in Other News
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00

Emergency Services Project Expo

Sunday 14 September between 10.30 and 5pm at the Darebin Arts Centre in Preston.

More than 60 projects from CFA, DEPI, MFB and SES will be on show including a broad range of operational, community safety, training, IT, safety/rehabilitation displays along with vehicles and equipment. All emergency service members are invited to come along with family, friends and colleagues to see what’s new, talk with project teams and take advantage of free health checks.

CFA and DEPI projects include:

  • New release training projects and mobile props
  • Volunteerism resources and brigade sustainability pilot
  • Health & Wellbeing and Manage your Mental Health initiatives
  • Concept and new release equipment including (from CFA) Scoresby Hoselayer, Technical Rescue Pod, ArmCore Cooler Harness, Bendigo Hydraulic Pole Saw and Alpine vehicle; (from DEPI) Vehicle-mounted flame-thrower, aerial intelligence gathering platform and the self-propelled incendiary flare.

For more information and who’s exhibiting please visit www.projectexpo.com.au

Published in CFA News

This year’s Emergency Services Foundation – 3rd Volunteer Leaders Forum, will be held in Melbourne on Saturday and Sunday 3 and 4 May.

Volunteers who wish to attend can be current volunteer leaders or prospective volunteer leaders - download the application form and details below.

The format for this year’s forum will include Day 1 at the Novotel St Kilda and Day 2 with a tour of the new training facility at Craigieburn.

The event offers;

  • „„ New Technology
  • „„ Meet Industry Leaders And Agency Chiefs
  • „„ Leadership Training
  • „„ Key Site Tours
  • „„ Emergency Management Updates
  • „„ Networking

 

CFA has the opportunity to have 40 members attend, funded by the Foundation.

Members who wish to nominate to attend can do so by forwarding their nomination direct to the Emergency Services Foundation as per the contact details on the last page of the attachment.  Applications close on the 31st March 2014.

Published in VFBV News
Friday, 25 October 2013 15:57

Fire Services Levy - start the discussion

VFBV has long pressed for a Fire Services Property Levy discount or exemption for CFA volunteers, in recognition of the significant contribution they already make as members of Brigades.

Since the levy took effect this year and people have had the chance to see it in practice, it has become the subject of media coverage and some public debate, and there have been volunteers with useful opinions to contribute.

If you would like to express an opinion on the levy, possible recognition of volunteer service or any other aspects, we invite you to contact the office on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

VFBV made comprehensive submissions to Government when the levy was first mooted and being designed. You can see VFBV's full report at the time of the levy's introduction and the content of our submissions by clicking here

Published in VFBV News
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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