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Draft CFA Volunteerism Strategy - Feedback
The draft CFA Volunteerism Strategy has generated extensive member feedback in November. An emerging theme is: how to measure success in a meaningful way for brigades? Various channels are being used to gather feedback during the consultation process. These include regional forums in various parts of Victoria and Brigades Online.
The draft CFA Volunteerism Strategy is an important development as it responds to the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) report into “Managing Emergency Services Volunteers”. The report identified strengths and weaknesses in the way we support our volunteers. The strategy will help ensure CFA remains an effective volunteer-based organisation in the future.
As part of the process, regional forums were held in Beechworth and Nagambie on 15 and 16 November. The draft strategy was presented to members. This was followed by a discussion focused on the five principles, three objectives and nine strategic actions outlined in the proposal. Other forums will be held across the state in December.
Themes discussed in Beechworth and Nagambie included:
- How to respect and retain the skills and expertise of senior members when a new BMT is put into place
- The impact of training on recruitment and retention of newer members, and the need for better planning and coordination
- How to measure ‘success’ – building the right performance measures that really mean something for brigades
- The importance of connecting with local communities – listening to what they need
Members can also access a copy of the strategy on Brigades Online and provide feedback.
Among the points raised by members on Brigades Online to date:
- The need to trust volunteers and optimise the use of their skills and expertise
- Improving the connection between CFA brigades and the communities they serve, including response coordination to emergencies
- “Championing volunteerism” (a term referred to in the strategy) would be best achieved if a number of agencies and organisations work together
- The importance of making sure that brigades remain capable in their own rights, and not be overly dependent on CFA HQ
- The need to connect with our younger generation
- Getting the key performance indicators right. Some members feel that the key performance indicators described in the strategy seem too ‘CFA focused’ and could better reflect multi-agency and local community measures
- Thinking through what ‘action’ looks like to see the strategy succeed
Feedbackcan be provided until 19 December 2014. Please go to:
Once the consultation process is finished, a final draft of the strategy will be submitted to the CFA Board.