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December update from the CFA Board
I'd like to assure members that a recent WorkSafe inspection carried out on the site, along with our own, have not indicated any concerns with current practices at Fiskville.
Also at the December meeting, the Board endorsed a proposal that will allow volunteers to transfer between brigades without having to resign then rejoin CFA. The service history of these volunteers will therefore record this as a transfer rather than a resignation, overturning a previous practice that has created difficulties for many volunteers. This change requires some system modifications which will occur over the next two months. Checks and balances such as criminal record checks will remain in place.
Training is often the biggest activity for brigades across the State. In a discussion on volunteerism led by Operational Training and Volunteerism Executive Manager Lex de Man, the Board encouraged initiatives to empower brigades and Groups to do more of their own training. The importance of leadership and good succession planning in ensuring the viability of brigades was also noted, as well as the need to encourage and welcome new volunteers. We know that some brigades in the State have waiting lists, while others are not as fortunate.
The Operational Training and Volunteerism team has a big work program which ranges from a review of Minimum Skills through to the development of the Operational Skills Map, online access to CFA training materials, upgrades of driving training tracks, BA filling stations at all field training grounds along with other improvements, and construction of three prototype mobile training props.
There are also proposed improvements underway for the recognition of both current competencies and prior learning.
With fire restrictions in place across most of the State by 26 December, the Chief Officer's report to the Board began with a focus on preparedness. He reported on the success of the September 2011 firefighter recruitment campaign as part of Project 2016.
Under the auspices of the Brigade and Membership Classification project, the Chief Officer reported that the current crew leader course fulfils the Board's intention that all captains and lieutenants have a leadership qualification. Regions will be advised to offer an optional brigade officer induction program for new officers.
Finally, I'd like to wish all CFA members and their families the very best for the festive season and 2012. Thank you for the work you do - paid and unpaid - for our one CFA.