You are here: Home Displaying items by tag: computer

How CFA activates thousands of TRAINED, EXPERIENCED VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS to deal with multiple major incidents, anywhere at any time.  How MELBOURNE’S SUBURBS PLAY A MAJOR ROLE.  How VICTORIA NEEDS CFA’S SURGE CAPACITY hundreds of times a year.

Our colourful animated video explains how CFA’s volunteer surge capacity works.  Our computer-generated video shows a satellite view of hundreds of brigades as they respond.

Our animated video gives you a quick demonstration of CFA’s volunteer surge capacity.

Our computer-generated video shows modelling of official CFA data, put together by VFBV and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety to show how CFA’s great volunteer surge capacity can deal with multiple major incidents.


  • CFA Brigades protect 60% of suburban Melbourne, regional cities and all of country Victoria
  • Volunteers are more than 95% of Victoria’s firefighting force, CFA has almost 55,000 volunteers.
  • CFA Brigades in Melbourne’s outer suburbs contribute thousands of the volunteers that give CFA the surge capacity to mobilise large numbers of trained, experienced firefighters at short notice to deal with large and long running emergencies
  • CFA Brigades protect over 4 million Victorians and one million homes every day and night of the year
  • CFA Brigades respond to all manner of emergencies, including fire, flood, industrial/chemical incidents, medical and road accidents

An explanation of CFA Volunteer Surge Capacity

CFA volunteer surge capacity is the ability to field thousands of trained, experienced volunteer firefighters at short notice while at the same time maintaining normal day to day service delivery and protection of local communities. 

One of the fundamental benefits of the CFA volunteer based model is the depth of capacity and capability it provides to maintain response across Victoria to widespread, large scale, multiple and concurrent emergencies whilst maintaining local fire cover for the rest of Victoria.
  The blue dots on the map above show the location of CFA volunteer brigades across Victoria that provide a network of brigades all contributing to volunteer surge capacity.
  CFA volunteers attend local fires, day to day emergencies and major disasters anywhere in the state. 
  They are professionally trained and equipped for all fire risk situations - from houses, shops and factory fires to major hazards, bushfires and motor vehicle accidents.
  Your local CFA volunteer brigade is much more than just 3 or 4 firefighters on duty – it’s dozens of volunteer firefighters on call and ready whenever needed 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Every day of the year.
  This regular activation results in a well-motivated, exercised and prepared emergency force that maintains operational readiness across the whole year. This not only keeps communities safe but ensures the highest levels of firefighter safety due to frequent use of their skills.
  CFA’s huge volunteer numbers mean we have the ability to combat multiple fires at a time and keep supplying firefighters on the ground. Often for weeks, months or more as required.
  A huge portion of our CFA volunteer surge capacity comes from the ever-growing outer metropolitan Melbourne and provincial cities. So maintaining our volunteer numbers in these areas is vitally important for Victoria.
  These volunteers from outer metro along with CFA volunteers right across the state means we have thousands of trained, experienced volunteer fire-fighters in the field ready to be deployed every hour of the day and we can keep supplying these firefighters for weeks at a time wherever they are needed.

This enormous surge capacity is recognized by fire experts as one of the most fundamental benefits of the CFA volunteer workforce.

They are embedded in cities, suburbs, regions and even the smallest rural communities.

  The 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission said that the CFA volunteer surge capacity, together with the local knowledge and the ability of CFA volunteer fire brigades to mobilise a rapid response was a key strength during the 2009 Black Saturday Fires.
  This capacity is not just demonstrated during summer, but across the entire year. The 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire is just one example of a non-bushfire emergency that extended over 45 days and required thousands of well trained volunteers. And this volunteer surge capacity is essential for Victoria’s continuing ability to deal with large fires.
Published in HomePage Top 3
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.