21April2024

You are here: Home Library Newsletters VFBV Firewise Page Displaying items by tag: 2 Minute Briefing

Operations

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV.
Due to Operational Activity, this Joint Committee Meeting was cancelled & did not go ahead.
The following issues have been pursed out of session over the Fire Season. More detailed information will be available after April’s State Council meeting.

2013/14 SEASON DEBRIEFS

The CFA Chief Officer has written to VFBV to address our concerns about inadequate opportunities for Volunteers at Brigade and local levels in particular, to be involved in previous years post season reviews.

The Chief Officer has written to all Operations Managers, expressing his intent that they be responsible in the first instance to develop a process in each of their Districts, that caters for inputs from brigades and individual members in this year’s post season review.

Last year’s review was largely silent on items that many front-line Volunteers constantly raise as important to them, due mainly to very few opportunities for Volunteers to be involved in post season review workshops that were held during weekdays and during normal business hours.

VFBV encourages all members who think they have something to contribute to this year’s post season review, including lessons learned at the local levels, to contact their Operations Manager to find out what opportunities have been scheduled for them to be involved in.

VFBV representatives are also meeting with the Fire Services Commissioner to provide input and suggestions on what measures the FSC can take to encourage & support increased Volunteer participation in this years review.

VOLUNTEER UTILISATION IN IMTs

In late January 2014, VFBV started receiving wide ranging reports from many Volunteers qualified and endorsed for senior IMT roles, who were reporting that no opportunities were being provided for them to provide their services.

On the 29th January, following advice that CFA was reporting that the demand for IMT personnel was starting to exceed available resources, and they were at capacity & seeking interstate resources, VFBV requested the Fire Services Commissioner establish a transparent resource utilization tracking process to assure himself that all available resources had in fact been utilised.


Initial results from that review, showed a high incidence of personnel who had not yet been used, and confirmed Volunteer reports that there appeared to be no systemic or centralized system that proactively sought their availability ahead of time, to plan for projected demands. On the 30th January, CFA was instructed to proactively utilise each District’s IMT resource list, and manage IMT resources on a rolling 14 day resource plan for the next 6 weeks. All personnel on the IMT resource lists were to be contacted to advise of their availability.

VFBV will be following up with the FSC and the CFA Chief Officer to ensure those barriers that were identified such as Volunteers being overlooked or “designed out” byway of unreasonable shift lengths (such as 7 day shifts) or short notice requests for same day or next deployments are addressed for next season.

Published in Operations Committee

HR, Welfare and OH&S

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 02/03/2014)

PRESUMPTIVE LEGISLATION
VFBV is preparing to step up it’s campaign for presumptive legislation, the firefighters’ cancer law.

The VFBV Board this week resolved to set up a trust account and seek donations to support the campaign.

The VFBV Presumptive Legislation Campaign Trust Account will be a specific purpose trust account to meet the costs of VFBV’s campaign for presumptive legislation for firefighters, including;


• Provision of information to members and the public
• Research and analysis
• Legal support, and
• Legal representation costs relevant to the pursuit of presumptive legislation, including but not limited to test cases as deemed necessary.

VFBV will be advertising broadly to encourage public and internal support for this fund raising effort.

The VFBV Presumptive Legislation Campaign Trust Fund is clearly aimed at supporting our pursuit of presumptive legislation and fair protection for firefighters.
Funds raised will assist our campaign efforts and test case pursuit, but will not extend to covering personal illness related compensation as we clearly see this as an obligation for the CFA volunteer Compensation arrangements.

What volunteers can do;
- Brigades, Groups and District Councils, as well as the public, will soon be invited to donate to the fund – details of how to donate will be posted on our website later this week
- Raise the issue of presumptive legislation/the firefighters’ cancer law at any opportunity with Members of Parliament, local media and online

You can download VFBV’s Notes for MPs and Notes for Volunteers by clicking here

 

MEMBERS IN RECEIPT OF DISABILITY PENSION

As reported in Edition 7 of this 2 minute Briefing, CFA is developing a Position and Policy for CFA members currently in receipt of a Disability Pension. This may include the introduction of a “reasonable adjustment” policy that CFA could impose to introduce controls & restrictions on members who are assessed medically to be at risk due to their illness or condition.
State Councillors were provided a detailed VFBV Information Paper, and a CFA Information Paper that outlines the issue, impacts and perceived risks. State Councillors have been requested to brief their respective District Councils & seek member feedback.

The Committee will use this feedback to progress the issue, and members (especially those that may be in receipt of a Disability Pension) are urged to discuss the paper with their State Councillors so that feedback can be used to help guide the committee in providing advice back to CFA, as the Policy is developed.

Equipment & Infrastructure

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV.
Due to Operational Activity, this Joint Committee Meeting was cancelled & did not go ahead.

VFBV CAMPAIGN FOR ADDITIONAL CFA FLEET FUNDING

Many CFA volunteers would be alarmed to learn that recurrent funding for CFA’s front line fleet does not provide for the replacement of fire trucks when they reach their working age limit.
CFA’s firefighting truck fleet has over 500 trucks that are over 20 years old and would already have been scheduled for replacement in any other state. The oldest CFA trucks are now 28 years old. Whilst CFA’s oldest trucks are well maintained, they do not have many of the safety features of modern vehicles, and without recurrent funding – CFA has no way to plan or schedule their eventual replacement.

In Victoria, CFA’s sister agencies have established maximum age targets for their tanker fleets. The MFB target for replacement of its tankers is 10 years, and DEPI have a target of 12 years for their Tankers. In June last year, due to inadequate funding, and Governments rejection of CFA’s 2013/14 fleet funding bid, with no way to reach the established “20 years old” convention that has been in place for the last couple of decades, CFA was forced to drop all age targets from its Fleet management plans, and replace with a “fit for task, fit for purpose” policy. Whilst this may sound sensible enough – with no forward planning or adequate funding, CFA cannot effectively manage its fleet of over 2,000 CFA owned vehicles, so that when they do eventually become not fit for purpose, they can be replaced.

VFBV and this Committee has been raising this issue with Government and other decision makers for some time, and has now launched an escalated public campaign for action to resolve the problem.

VFBV is seeking the support of both sides of Parliament for;

  • Appropriate, ongoing recurrent funding to ensure safe and fit-for-purpose CFA firefighting fleet replacement and growth expansion;
  • Guaranteed multi-year funding on a rolling five year basis, based on a reasonable replacement cycle;
  • A funding mechanism that provides additional funding to CFA to meet service requirements brought about by population growth and changes in the risk environment;
  • Funding to address the necessary ‘catch-up’ from recent under-funded years
  • A plea to stop the practice of assuming it is reasonable to require Volunteers to use frontline operational firefighting trucks that are considered unsafe or inadequate for career firefighters doing the same work and servicing the same communities

VFBV has written a letter to every Victorian State MP with a detailed brief outlining the problem, the implications and our desired result.

You can download the detailed brief by clicking here or call the VFBV office on (03) 9886 1141 to request a copy be posted to you. We encourage you to follow up with further discussion at your local level.

Community Safety

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between
CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 01/03/2014)

COMMUNITY SAFETY COORDINATOR BMT POSITIONS

CFA have advised that due to a delay in support materials and personnel to support the Brigade & Membership
Reclassification Project, that the mandatory position of Community Safety Coordinators within Brigade Management
Teams will now be optional for this year’s election cycle. This position will now be mandatory during the 2015 and
2016 election cycles. Whilst not mandatory this year, Brigades are still encouraged to elect this position at their earliest
opportunity. Support materials specific to this role are available from your (CEC) Community Education Coordinator
located at each of CFA’s Regional offices.

SKILLS RECOGNITION & COMMUNITY SAFETY DEVELOPMENT PATHWAYS

Most members are well aware that there are many training opportunities and formal competencies available for
brigade members related to Fire Suppression, but very few opportunities for members to participate in more formal
training in their Fire Suppression activities. Work continues on building Community Safety Development Pathways, for
those members interested in pursuing formal competencies & other related courses and learning outcomes related to
the delivery of Community Safety programs. The Committee has been working with CFA to ensure a comprehensive
Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition process is in place before the start of formal Community Safety
training is rolled out through the Districts. This is in recognition that many members have already been doing this
work, and delivering these programs over many years, and for those members there should be an easy and simple
process for their skills to be formally recognized and assessed, with only any identified “gaps” needing to be completed
before being formally accredited.

MEASURING BRIGADE’S COMMUNITY SAFETY & ENGAGEMENT

CFA are currently developing measurement tools to support Brigade’s measure and gauge the effectiveness of their
Community Safety & Community Engagement activities within their own communities. The tools are also designed to
help the Brigade identify which Community Safety programs the Brigade wants to deliver themselves, and which
programs they would like CFA assistance with.
Whilst very supportive of this approach, Volunteer delegates to the committee have requested CFA consider the actual
“needs” of each Brigade’s community, and incorporate that in feedback to the brigade’s activities & effectiveness. For
example, a small community that is not located in an area of High Fire Risk and is well protected by natural or manmade
fire breaks has very different engagement needs compared to a community that is surrounded by heavy forest, and is
located within a High Fire Risk area. By incorporating a base line of what community needs might be, that is linked to
their risk profile, Brigade’s will have a more accurate picture of which activities and programs would most suit their
community. CFA has agreed, and is investigating ways to incorporate Community Needs into the tool.

MUNICIPAL FIRE MANAGEMENT PLANS NOW AVAILABLE VIA CFA WEBSITE

Following up on an earlier suggestion by the Committee, CFA have now implemented a system that makes Municipal
Fire Management Plans easily accessible to Brigades electronically, via the member’s area of the CFA website.
Background information on IFMP and best practice guides for the development of plans is also available on the same
page. To access, log-in to CFA Brigades Online and choose;
Community ---> Municipal Fire prevention ---> IFMP Working Together
The link to the actual plans can be found under the title “Accessing Municipal Fire Management Plans”

Community Safety

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between
CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 01/03/2014)

COMMUNITY SAFETY COORDINATOR BMT POSITIONS

CFA have advised that due to a delay in support materials and personnel to support the Brigade & Membership
Reclassification Project, that the mandatory position of Community Safety Coordinators within Brigade Management
Teams will now be optional for this year’s election cycle. This position will now be mandatory during the 2015 and
2016 election cycles. Whilst not mandatory this year, Brigades are still encouraged to elect this position at their earliest
opportunity. Support materials specific to this role are available from your (CEC) Community Education Coordinator
located at each of CFA’s Regional offices.

SKILLS RECOGNITION & COMMUNITY SAFETY DEVELOPMENT PATHWAYS

Most members are well aware that there are many training opportunities and formal competencies available for
brigade members related to Fire Suppression, but very few opportunities for members to participate in more formal
training in their Fire Suppression activities. Work continues on building Community Safety Development Pathways, for
those members interested in pursuing formal competencies & other related courses and learning outcomes related to
the delivery of Community Safety programs. The Committee has been working with CFA to ensure a comprehensive
Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition process is in place before the start of formal Community Safety
training is rolled out through the Districts. This is in recognition that many members have already been doing this
work, and delivering these programs over many years, and for those members there should be an easy and simple
process for their skills to be formally recognized and assessed, with only any identified “gaps” needing to be completed
before being formally accredited.

MEASURING BRIGADE’S COMMUNITY SAFETY & ENGAGEMENT

CFA are currently developing measurement tools to support Brigade’s measure and gauge the effectiveness of their
Community Safety & Community Engagement activities within their own communities. The tools are also designed to
help the Brigade identify which Community Safety programs the Brigade wants to deliver themselves, and which
programs they would like CFA assistance with.
Whilst very supportive of this approach, Volunteer delegates to the committee have requested CFA consider the actual
“needs” of each Brigade’s community, and incorporate that in feedback to the brigade’s activities & effectiveness. For
example, a small community that is not located in an area of High Fire Risk and is well protected by natural or manmade
fire breaks has very different engagement needs compared to a community that is surrounded by heavy forest, and is
located within a High Fire Risk area. By incorporating a base line of what community needs might be, that is linked to
their risk profile, Brigade’s will have a more accurate picture of which activities and programs would most suit their
community. CFA has agreed, and is investigating ways to incorporate Community Needs into the tool.

MUNICIPAL FIRE MANAGEMENT PLANS NOW AVAILABLE VIA CFA WEBSITE

Following up on an earlier suggestion by the Committee, CFA have now implemented a system that makes Municipal
Fire Management Plans easily accessible to Brigades electronically, via the member’s area of the CFA website.
Background information on IFMP and best practice guides for the development of plans is also available on the same
page. To access, log-in to CFA Brigades Online and choose;
Community ---> Municipal Fire prevention ---> IFMP Working Together
The link to the actual plans can be found under the title “Accessing Municipal Fire Management Plans”

Volunteerism

Joint Committee – 2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held16th March 2014)

National Emergency Medal

Good progress is being made across the state with ceremonies for the presentations of the National Emergency Medal. The ceremonies will continue for most of the year, with OT&V organising dates and venues at appropriate times for recipients in conjunction with the Districts. Unfortunately, several have been postponed due to operational circumstances and will be rescheduled for later in the year. For those recipients that have not been able to attend the presentations, the need for each District to hold an additional presentation will be looked into, to ensure that all recipients receive their National Emergency Medal.

Jones Inquiry

Progress with the Jones Inquiry Implementation is being made with a Project Management Team now being implemented to ensure that a project plan is developed and implemented. A Steering Committee will also be setup to ensure that the project plan is being implemented in a timely manner. 

Victorian Auditor General’s (VAGO) Report - Emergency Services Volunteers

As part of the VAGO Reports recommendation to implement the Volunteer Strategy by December 2014, CFA will be meeting with SES to discuss a joint approach to the development of a Volunteer Strategy, aligned to the Emergency Services reform underway.

CFA have commenced a preliminary literature review of relevant local and international volunteer strategies and the development of the strategy will involve significant engagement and consultation will all members and VFBV. A project board and project team will be established to focus on the Volunteer Strategy in 2014.

Wellbeing Pilot

As part of the Volunteer Support Program, a Wellbeing Project is being rolled out across the state with 10 team members recruited and starting shortly for a 12 month pilot. The Wellbeing Project Pilot will examine and progress strategies and systems that support volunteers in areas such as member welfare/wellbeing, interpersonal relationship issues resolution particularly at an early stage before they become large issues affecting the volunteers and brigades. VFBV is very keen to track the progress of this pilot project to ensure the positive outcomes are embedded into CFA in a lasting way.

Brigade Sustainability

Brigade Sustainability team members (21 in total as part of the Volunteer Support Program) are being employed across the state to assist brigades to develop local initiatives, strategies and solutions to address brigade long term and short term viability. The Brigade and Membership Classification project is progressing with all brigades having to transition by 2016. To assist with the transition, Brigade Sustainability team members will be available to assist brigades and a booklet with the brigade structures and role descriptors will be available shortly.

Published in Volunteerism Committee

Volunteerism

Joint Committee – 2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held16th March 2014)

National Emergency Medal

Good progress is being made across the state with ceremonies for the presentations of the National Emergency Medal. The ceremonies will continue for most of the year, with OT&V organising dates and venues at appropriate times for recipients in conjunction with the Districts. Unfortunately, several have been postponed due to operational circumstances and will be rescheduled for later in the year. For those recipients that have not been able to attend the presentations, the need for each District to hold an additional presentation will be looked into, to ensure that all recipients receive their National Emergency Medal.

Jones Inquiry

Progress with the Jones Inquiry Implementation is being made with a Project Management Team now being implemented to ensure that a project plan is developed and implemented. A Steering Committee will also be setup to ensure that the project plan is being implemented in a timely manner. 

Victorian Auditor General’s (VAGO) Report - Emergency Services Volunteers

As part of the VAGO Reports recommendation to implement the Volunteer Strategy by December 2014, CFA will be meeting with SES to discuss a joint approach to the development of a Volunteer Strategy, aligned to the Emergency Services reform underway.

CFA have commenced a preliminary literature review of relevant local and international volunteer strategies and the development of the strategy will involve significant engagement and consultation will all members and VFBV. A project board and project team will be established to focus on the Volunteer Strategy in 2014.

Wellbeing Pilot

As part of the Volunteer Support Program, a Wellbeing Project is being rolled out across the state with 10 team members recruited and starting shortly for a 12 month pilot. The Wellbeing Project Pilot will examine and progress strategies and systems that support volunteers in areas such as member welfare/wellbeing, interpersonal relationship issues resolution particularly at an early stage before they become large issues affecting the volunteers and brigades. VFBV is very keen to track the progress of this pilot project to ensure the positive outcomes are embedded into CFA in a lasting way.

Brigade Sustainability

Brigade Sustainability team members (21 in total as part of the Volunteer Support Program) are being employed across the state to assist brigades to develop local initiatives, strategies and solutions to address brigade long term and short term viability. The Brigade and Membership Classification project is progressing with all brigades having to transition by 2016. To assist with the transition, Brigade Sustainability team members will be available to assist brigades and a booklet with the brigade structures and role descriptors will be available shortly.

Published in Volunteerism Committee

Volunteerism

Joint Committee – 2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held16th March 2014)

National Emergency Medal

Good progress is being made across the state with ceremonies for the presentations of the National Emergency Medal. The ceremonies will continue for most of the year, with OT&V organising dates and venues at appropriate times for recipients in conjunction with the Districts. Unfortunately, several have been postponed due to operational circumstances and will be rescheduled for later in the year. For those recipients that have not been able to attend the presentations, the need for each District to hold an additional presentation will be looked into, to ensure that all recipients receive their National Emergency Medal.

Jones Inquiry

Progress with the Jones Inquiry Implementation is being made with a Project Management Team now being implemented to ensure that a project plan is developed and implemented. A Steering Committee will also be setup to ensure that the project plan is being implemented in a timely manner. 

Victorian Auditor General’s (VAGO) Report - Emergency Services Volunteers

As part of the VAGO Reports recommendation to implement the Volunteer Strategy by December 2014, CFA will be meeting with SES to discuss a joint approach to the development of a Volunteer Strategy, aligned to the Emergency Services reform underway.

CFA have commenced a preliminary literature review of relevant local and international volunteer strategies and the development of the strategy will involve significant engagement and consultation will all members and VFBV. A project board and project team will be established to focus on the Volunteer Strategy in 2014.

Wellbeing Pilot

As part of the Volunteer Support Program, a Wellbeing Project is being rolled out across the state with 10 team members recruited and starting shortly for a 12 month pilot. The Wellbeing Project Pilot will examine and progress strategies and systems that support volunteers in areas such as member welfare/wellbeing, interpersonal relationship issues resolution particularly at an early stage before they become large issues affecting the volunteers and brigades. VFBV is very keen to track the progress of this pilot project to ensure the positive outcomes are embedded into CFA in a lasting way.

Brigade Sustainability

Brigade Sustainability team members (21 in total as part of the Volunteer Support Program) are being employed across the state to assist brigades to develop local initiatives, strategies and solutions to address brigade long term and short term viability. The Brigade and Membership Classification project is progressing with all brigades having to transition by 2016. To assist with the transition, Brigade Sustainability team members will be available to assist brigades and a booklet with the brigade structures and role descriptors will be available shortly.

Published in Volunteerism Committee

Joint Training Committee – 2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held Sunday, 16th March 2014)

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP TRAINING CALENDAR

The CFA has completed the 2014 training calendar for all the roles involved in Incident Management. The calendar will be sent out to all Group Officers. The purpose of the calendars is to show members what training is available for various IMT roles and to indicate pre-requisites required to commence training. The training calendar was developed in consultation with Operations Managers and RIC’s. Each course will be offered to 18 candidates across the four agencies – (DEPI / CFA / VICSES / MFB).  Two application forms are included with the calendar for members interested in training in incident management. The Blue “I.M.T. Training Expression of Interest” form must be completed by volunteers wishing to further their training into the IMT role. This must be approved by both a Group Officer and the Operations Manager. Once an applicant is successful with this step, a further Green form is completed – the “IMT Training Nomination Form”. This is the application for the appropriate course the applicant is approved to attend. This process allows control across the State to best prioritise CFA nominations into these limited positions. For those in the CFA who have previously undertaken and completed Incident Management courses under the pilot program, these will be recognised and certificates will be distributed shortly.

DRIVER TRAINING / VIC ROADS HEAVY LICENCE TESTING

The CFA “Driver Education and Endorsement Strategy 2014 – 2024” is complete, with the strategy going to the Chief Officer for endorsement prior to submission to the CFA Board sub - committee in May 2014 for their approval. Progress is continuing with the Heavy Vehicle Licence Testing. Ongoing consultations are continuing with VicRoads and approved Licencing Providers. There is currently one agreement in place that provides testing in Bairnsdale, Bendigo, Dandenong and Sale.  The CFA has been provided an exemption by VicRoads for the requirement for Licence providers to provide all the driver training under the existing constraints! This approval means that once a driver is trained by the CFA, they will only need to be assessed by the Licenced Provider. The progress for the arrangement of driver training and assessment is at the “final hurdle” however, there is going to be a significant delay of several months for members obtaining medium rigid licences until agreements are in place for each region.

CPR / FIRST AID TRAINING UPDATE

The process of providing First Aid training to the CFA is due for re-tendering in the next 6 months. The Fire Services Commissioner has requested that a common approach to First Aid training be developed across the Victorian emergency services and that a common set of specifications be agreed to by the providers. These specifications are to be developed and sent out to the agencies for reviewing and feedback. The proposal allows for brigades to approach the First Aid training provider directly when they need to undertake first aid training. This allows greater flexibility for brigade members to maintain their first aid certification. The new program also needs to facilitate the needs of members who require any literacy and numeracy support. Trialling of a new approach to CPR training is occurring in District 8 & 22 involving Ambulance Victoria’s ‘4 Steps to Life’ program which allows participants to undertake their own CPR training.

F&EM TRAINING STRATEGY UPDATE

Initial results are in for the F&EM Training Strategy Survey sent out in early January 2014 have come in. Further feedback from volunteers and brigades is needed, so the survey closing date has now been extended to April 15th 2014. A PDF of the survey questionnaire can be found on the CFA online site, and type into the search engine “F&EM Training Strategy Survey”. The PDF for the survey will be the first item on the RH side of the screen under documents. Please fill this survey out and return it to the CFA!

ALL HAZARDS SKILLS PROGRAM UPDATE

The specifications for the new “Recruit Program” and “Bushfire Skills Program” are complete and currently awaiting the Chief Officers acceptance. The framework allows more flexibility for individual brigades to provide the training to new recruits to suit their own brigade profile. The competencies addressed under the Recruit Program include several training module to be completed that will allow a recruit to obtain the following competencies: PUAFIR215 Prevent Injury; PUAOHS002B Maintain Safety at an incident scene; and PUATEA001B Work in a Team. Likewise the Bushfire Skills Program will involve the completion of several further modules that at the completion of will lead to the attainment of the competency; PUAFIR204B Respond to Wildfire.

Published in Training Committee

Joint Training Committee – 2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held Sunday, 16th March 2014)

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP TRAINING CALENDAR

The CFA has completed the 2014 training calendar for all the roles involved in Incident Management. The calendar will be sent out to all Group Officers. The purpose of the calendars is to show members what training is available for various IMT roles and to indicate pre-requisites required to commence training. The training calendar was developed in consultation with Operations Managers and RIC’s. Each course will be offered to 18 candidates across the four agencies – (DEPI / CFA / VICSES / MFB).  Two application forms are included with the calendar for members interested in training in incident management. The Blue “I.M.T. Training Expression of Interest” form must be completed by volunteers wishing to further their training into the IMT role. This must be approved by both a Group Officer and the Operations Manager. Once an applicant is successful with this step, a further Green form is completed – the “IMT Training Nomination Form”. This is the application for the appropriate course the applicant is approved to attend. This process allows control across the State to best prioritise CFA nominations into these limited positions. For those in the CFA who have previously undertaken and completed Incident Management courses under the pilot program, these will be recognised and certificates will be distributed shortly.

DRIVER TRAINING / VIC ROADS HEAVY LICENCE TESTING

The CFA “Driver Education and Endorsement Strategy 2014 – 2024” is complete, with the strategy going to the Chief Officer for endorsement prior to submission to the CFA Board sub - committee in May 2014 for their approval. Progress is continuing with the Heavy Vehicle Licence Testing. Ongoing consultations are continuing with VicRoads and approved Licencing Providers. There is currently one agreement in place that provides testing in Bairnsdale, Bendigo, Dandenong and Sale.  The CFA has been provided an exemption by VicRoads for the requirement for Licence providers to provide all the driver training under the existing constraints! This approval means that once a driver is trained by the CFA, they will only need to be assessed by the Licenced Provider. The progress for the arrangement of driver training and assessment is at the “final hurdle” however, there is going to be a significant delay of several months for members obtaining medium rigid licences until agreements are in place for each region.

CPR / FIRST AID TRAINING UPDATE

The process of providing First Aid training to the CFA is due for re-tendering in the next 6 months. The Fire Services Commissioner has requested that a common approach to First Aid training be developed across the Victorian emergency services and that a common set of specifications be agreed to by the providers. These specifications are to be developed and sent out to the agencies for reviewing and feedback. The proposal allows for brigades to approach the First Aid training provider directly when they need to undertake first aid training. This allows greater flexibility for brigade members to maintain their first aid certification. The new program also needs to facilitate the needs of members who require any literacy and numeracy support. Trialling of a new approach to CPR training is occurring in District 8 & 22 involving Ambulance Victoria’s ‘4 Steps to Life’ program which allows participants to undertake their own CPR training.

F&EM TRAINING STRATEGY UPDATE

Initial results are in for the F&EM Training Strategy Survey sent out in early January 2014 have come in. Further feedback from volunteers and brigades is needed, so the survey closing date has now been extended to April 15th 2014. A PDF of the survey questionnaire can be found on the CFA online site, and type into the search engine “F&EM Training Strategy Survey”. The PDF for the survey will be the first item on the RH side of the screen under documents. Please fill this survey out and return it to the CFA!

ALL HAZARDS SKILLS PROGRAM UPDATE

The specifications for the new “Recruit Program” and “Bushfire Skills Program” are complete and currently awaiting the Chief Officers acceptance. The framework allows more flexibility for individual brigades to provide the training to new recruits to suit their own brigade profile. The competencies addressed under the Recruit Program include several training module to be completed that will allow a recruit to obtain the following competencies: PUAFIR215 Prevent Injury; PUAOHS002B Maintain Safety at an incident scene; and PUATEA001B Work in a Team. Likewise the Bushfire Skills Program will involve the completion of several further modules that at the completion of will lead to the attainment of the competency; PUAFIR204B Respond to Wildfire.

Published in Training Committee

Communications & Technology

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8 - March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 01/03/2014)

REGIONAL RADIO DISPATCH SERVICE UPDATE

CFA has advised that the industrial bargaining processes at ESTA have now been resolved and the training for ESTA console operators to uptake the new digital network requirements can commence. The planned roll out of the digital radio dispatch migration commencing with District 12 will now be re-scheduled with CFA already accepting the technical requirements and capabilities of Telstra’s network infrastructure in both District 12 and District 16. The network infrastructure works by Telstra is progressing to plan with 97 of the 193 sites constructed and powered up.

Coverage acceptance testing  which involves a physical drive across the entire District coverage area sees three (3) Districts accepted being D12, D16 and D22. The physical testing involves two specially fitted out CFA vehicles visiting all CFA stations, satellites and along all major roads testing signal integrity, strength and coverage.

Training programs are progressing as per the original project schedule with ‘train the trainer’ sessions completed in Districts 12, 2, 15 and D6. Ongoing refinements to the training program and materials is being undertaken based on the feedback from participants and trainers.

Radio Reflash – Progressing on the schedule as planned with more than 10,600 radios reflashed with a greater than 82% ‘first pass’ success rate.

 

LISTENING SET REDUNDANCY - UPDATE

CFA have advised that Business Cases for digital listening sets and streaming of dispatch channels on a web based platform have been approved by the CFA’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

STREAMING of digital dispatch audio to internet connected devices (eg personal computer, smart phone) in a similar fashion to ABC radio being streamed to the internet. CFA is ready to commence trials – currently waiting for audio traffic to start across the CFA Districts as they transition from analogue to digital.

DIGITAL LISTENING SETS - Expressions of Interest were called by CFA for suppliers to detail there product types and costings – the EOI process has now closed and CFA are evaluating the responses from a number of submissions received. A formal recommendation about the next steps will be developed in response to the evaluation process.

 

NBN and Power Outages

The JCAT Committee heard some disturbing reports from locations where NBN access has been enabled to homes and businesses that in times of power disruption phones interconnected as part of bundled packages are also falling silent. Members in Brigades should be aware that this loss of functionality during periods of emergency where notionally power is lost could leave brigades and members vulnerable without adequate back up systems.

 

PAGERS

VFBV delegates pressed CFA and ESTA to immediately commence field and evaluation trailing of a Visual Alert Cradle that may enhance user awareness of the pager receiving a message when that member works or is located in noisy environments. For many CFA members this is the case and a technology solution in the form of an accessory such as this alert cradle may provide members who demonstrate the need for such a device a useable solution.

An EAS Pager User Reference Panel will be established with VFBV representation to monitor and provide direction for pager improvements, software glitch fixes and will look immediately into what future product options can be developed to replace the Alpha Legend pager at the earliest possible time.

Pagers Not Working Properly – Some of the Over the Air (OTA) reprogramming that was completed during the pager rollout has not been successful and there is evidence that a further attempt can in many cases solve some unsatisfactory performance and user issues. Members should call the EAS Pager Help Line to request another OTA reprogramming session.

 

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.

Newsletter

Contact Us