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Deputy Chair's report, August 2011
Some Board members also met representatives from Bobinawarrah and Milawa brigades to discuss matters of shared importance.
At the Board meeting, training was a key topic under discussion as we look towards the first CFA training conference to be held in late October. Chief Officer Euan Ferguson will lead some 160 staff training personnel as they build a statewide team dedicated to consistency and excellence in training. In addition, The Board received an update from the Executive Director Operational Training and Volunteerism on progress establishing the new Directorate and its priorities.
The Chief Officer reported on preparations for the upcoming fire season, and a proposed service delivery, capability development and resource allocation model.
The Chief Officer also reported that the project to award badges/plaques to our members/brigades to recognise their incredible efforts in the February 2009 fires was progressing well with presentation ceremonies expected to be held later this year.
The Board was briefed on the AFAC-sponsored review of the key documentation of AIIMS (Australian Inter-service Incident Management System). One of the key objectives of the review is to have one system adopted by all police, fire and emergency services Australia-wide.
During the rollout of the new portable radios, a number of brigades expressed concerns about audio loudness, water-shedding performance and claimed loss of communications. Extensive work has been undertaken with the manufacturer to engineer solutions. The enhanced portables are expected to be available from early December with delivery completed by 30 June 2012.
The Fire Services Commissioner has engaged the office of the Emergency Services Commissioner to review the 19 May TriTech fire at Dandenong South. The draft terms of reference range from the command, control and coordination arrangements established at the incident to the issuing of community information and warnings. The review will be completed by late October.
Meanwhile the Fire Services Commissioner has released the review of the Tostaree fire. While analysis of the report is still ongoing, the implementation plan was tabled at the Board meeting. The review identified areas for improvement but also recognised the good work done.
The Board was also updated on progress on new National Workplace Heath and Safety Legislation which continues to go through a federal amendments and implementation process. The model legislation has now been agreed to by the states and regulations and codes of practice are under development.
After the Board meeting, Hume Regional Manager Alan Davies hosted a dinner for Board members, senior CFA staff and CFA members representing a range of brigades from across the region. A dynamic question-and-answer session addressed a broad range of topics. CFA is fortunate to have such committed and well-informed members on the frontline.