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Assessing brigade viability
For many years, we’ve measured the health of brigades by focusing on operational preparedness and response. But, as we develop our understanding of risk, we know it’s much more than that.
By Kerry Laurie
Leadership, changing communities, prevention activities and the wellbeing of our people are just a few of the factors impacting service delivery. But how do we measure our strengths, risks and limitations?
Over the past three years, CFA has developed a Brigade Viability Indicator tool (BVI) to do just that.
The tool was developed by the South East Region Brigade Sustainability pilot team and operations managers in 2014 and trialled in other regions in 2015. Since then, there have been major improvements.
There has been a comprehensive review of all questions by operations and functional teams, and testing of questions with selected brigades and catchment teams. We are developing a user-friendly, web-based portal, and looking at a number of reporting tools to ensure the results are meaningful to the audience. There will also be a robust evaluation process.
Such is the focus on the urgent need to improve this part of CFA business that Chief Officer Steve Warrington recently said, “It is my view that this [BVI] tool will become one of the most significant drivers of change we have seen in CFA for a long time”.
The BVI tool will help us capture the essence of what makes a brigade viable by pinpointing strengths, risks and limitations associated with our brigades. In turn, this will help CFA to better direct resources to help brigades mitigate risk and empower them do what they do best – serve their communities.
The BVI is expected to roll out later this year.