The Jones Inquiry Joint Implementation Action Plan, developed collaboratively between CFA and VFBV, was approved at the CFA Board Meeting on 9 October 2012. This further demonstrates the commitment between CFA and VFBV to ensure that the individual and collective needs of volunteers are addressed, and illustrates how we continue to work together to support and enable our volunteers and matters affecting them.
CFA, like all government entities in the current global financial setting, needs to tighten its belt. In part this means that we need to re-phase the timelines of current programs like Project 2016 to ensure they remain within our forecast budgets for the immediate years ahead.
On Wednesday morning we awoke to the very sad news of the passing of one of our esteemed former leaders in former Chief Officer Harry Rothsay.
We will soon be renaming six of our field training grounds as part of the transition from regional management to central management within Operational Training and Volunteerism (OT&V). The Informing the Future Program Office has recently led a consultation process with OT&V, regional leadership teams, and local training and planning committees to agree on the new names.
CFA’s Medal Winning Cyclist:
Congratulations to Tungamah CFA’s Captain Simon “Hector” Crawford who recently won a Silver Medal in the Police and Firefighter’s World Championships recently. The event was held in Sydney and Simon's triumph came in the 80km Road Race. Well done Simon.
The results of the CFA Organisational Culture Survey undertaken in May/June this year, are being communicated and discussed across CFA by nominated and trained facilitators.
It's Movember and time to focus on men's health.
Key Bushfire Documentation For The Bushfire Season:
As we rapidly lead into the fire season, it is timely to draw attention to a number of key documents and preparedness activities that form our bushfire command and control arrangements for the summer:
Community Fireguard DVD:
Angela Cook from the Fire Ready Victoria program reminds us that this is the 20th year of CFA's Community Fireguard. She also advises that the new Community Fireguard promotional DVD is ready. 50 Copies are being sent to each Region. The DVD can be viewed online through this link:
A new above ground water tank was installed at Fiskville last week, further enhancing access to town water for hot fire training.
It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Mark Potter as the Regional Director in CFA's Gippsland Region.
Fiskville Firefighting Water Supply and Treatment
Acting CEO and Chief Officer Euan Ferguson again said that the Fiskville training ground is safe.
I’m pleased to share with you the CFA Plan for 2012-13 which you can download and read here.
CFA's Welfare Services provides support to members and their immediate families to deal with potentially distressing events. This can be for both CFA related issues and individual personal issues. CFA would like to know about your experience of Welfare Services and so we're conducting some research. The findings of this research will be used to inform improvements to Welfare Services. They will also be used to help inform education programs that support psychological preparation for potentially distressing events. This research feedback questionnaire will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. A sample of the questionnaires has been sent to every Brigade Secretary in the state so it's likely you might already know about the Wellbeing Research. We encourage you to complete the questionnaire online. You can also contact your local HRM or Peer Coordinator to obtain more paper copies. If you have questions about this research, you can contact the hotline on 03 8822 8118.
A key Fiskville related project took an important step forward last week with a 1.5 day regional training ground planning session at Melton.
Fixed Training Infrastructure
National Emergency Medal Presentation:
On Sunday 9th September, I had the honour of attending the presentation of National Emergency Medals to a further 27 recipients at the Whittlesea Fire Station. The motor room of the station was filled with recipients, their supporters, friends and families. The mood was one of reserved pride, reflection and emotion. Here are the words I said as part of the ceremony: "The summer of 2009 saw prolonged drought. Across much of the scenic and serene countryside, the bushfire risk was unprecedented. Across Victoria, communities went about their business with the threat of something ominous about to happen. The bushfires came: extensive, intense, all powerful and all consuming. Merciless and unforgiving to those caught in their path. Across Victoria, in brigades, small crews, strike teams, task forces and incident management teams, men and women united to confront the common threat of bushfire. In conditions that were difficult and dangerous - "Extreme" in every sense of the word - you did your best. In the face of nature's wrath, you stood fast. You gave your all. Many of you risked your life to save the lives of others. Some of you lost your own - your property, your livelihood, your friends and your family - whilst protecting others. Your selfless service, devotion to duty, your courage and your leadership serves as an example that will inspire others for generations. You have earned the respect of a grateful community. You epitomise the spirit of Australia and the spirit of CFA. To each and every one of you, and to the many others who are not here today, I say "Thank you - Job well done!" Your efforts will forevermore be etched in the proud history of this great State. Thank you. I salute you all." We thank the Whittlesea Fire Brigade for hosting the event and the Narre Warren Fire Brigade for their wonderful catering.
Environmental engineering firm Cardno Lane Piper has begun site assessments at CFA's regional training grounds, which will include assessments of soil, groundwater, surface water and fire fighting water quality.
I am pleased to take this opportunity to keep you informed about the Brigade and Membership Classification project.
I want to report back to you the outcomes of this week's Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meeting in which we discussed a range of matters including a strategy to find and deliver savings of $41 million in the CFA budget. As you are aware, the SLT is made up of myself and the Chief, the Deputy Chiefs, Executive Directors, Regional Directors and Executive Managers.
Our primary purpose in Loddon Mallee region is to create and deploy an effective operational capability focused on preventing and suppressing fire, in order to achieve our CFA objective of minimising loss of life and property.
Northern and Western Metropolitan region continues to grow to meet the challenges posed by rapid urban growth and changing risks.
The second half of 2012 sees us rolling out an initiative I feel will bring enormous benefits in building volunteer capacity and capability for incident response.
Grampians region has defined its approach to effective, proactive and deliberate engagement with brigades, groups and other internal stakeholders with the development of the Grampians region engagement strategy.
Firstly, thank you to the dedicated volunteers and staff who supported the recent flood and storm activities in central and east Gippsland. Whilst the flood was dealt with over a period of approximately one week, we are fully aware that agencies and organisations, including CFA brigades, are continuing to clean up from the storm event that preceded the floods.
About 18 months ago the team at Corio brigade established a business plan that set out guidelines to engage the community within its fire district.
The inaugural Former Captains Dinner and Living Legends Dinner held in June and July were outstanding successes and will become regular events in our regional calendar.
The recent communications survey, which many of you completed, clearly indicated a high level of interest in the regional directors' activities. I'm pleased to welcome this opportunity to provide you with a regular update on our direction and happenings within Southern Metropolitan region.