News & Media

‘All hazards’ minimum skills

By: Darren Grevis-James

Category: Training & Recruitment

  4.01 PM 7 August, 2013

Location: General

Views: 6053

Minimum skills training is about to undergo a major change, following consultation with VFBV, CFA brigades, training managers and instructors.

The change to minimum skills training flows from Recommendation 17 of Jones Inquiry which called for a comprehensive review of minimum skills training.

The review of minimum skills training was intended to determine if current training practices met the changing operational needs of CFA, in particular the need for brigades to have more input and ability to train and sustain their operational firefighters.

Earlier this year, the Chief Officer, Euan Ferguson endorsed all 22 recommendations to revise the minimum skills program.

Until now, minimum skills training primarily focused on operational firefighters learning the fundamentals of bushfire fire fighting techniques; operation of equipment’s, and safety procedures.
In future, CFA intends to take an ‘all hazards’ approach to minimum skills.  This means that the basic skills taught to new firefighters will be focused on their skills required to respond to any local incident.

Operational Training and Volunteerism, Executive Director, Lex de Man says the ‘all hazards’ approach to training will be consistent with the needs and risks faced by each brigade in their local area. “There’ll be greater focus on members’ basic firemanship skills that will allow them - under supervision and effective leadership to respond and add value as part of a crew when responding to any local incident,” says Lex.

 “Due to the significant work required, the introduction of this new program is planned to occur after 1 July 2014.”

Lex says the adoption of an all hazards’ approach recognises the variance in the type of incidents that members may be exposed to as part of their brigades’ normal day to day operations.

Lex believes there will be some tangible benefits with the introduction of the revised minimum skills training regime. “Not only will it be a more focused training program in future, but it also means getting new members on to a truck during their training program rather than at the end of it.” 
Since the introduction of minimum skills training more than ten years ago CFA has managed to train more than forty thousand members “It’s been a highly successful program thanks to the commitment of CFA groups and brigades.  But the timing was right for an evaluation of the basic skills needed by firefighters and whether that matched the needs of brigades,” adds Lex.

Last Updated: 07 August 2013