News & Media

Fiskville closure

By: Michael Wootten

  5.36 PM 26 March, 2015

Views: 1968

Today the Victorian Government announced the permanent closure of CFA’s Fiskville training facility.

It comes after CFA’s Board resolved to close the site following the results of water testing of more than 550 samples. 

I am aware that, for many of our members, this news will be upsetting. Fiskville has been an important part of CFA’s history. Many of our members, volunteer and career, have trained and worked there over the past four decades. Fiskville has also been used for a range of training and development courses, graduations, celebrations and memorials. And many CFA instructors and their families have called Fiskville their home.

The safety and wellbeing of our people is our first priority.

The most recent tests found no traces of PFOS in drinking water, including taps and shower heads. PFOS was detected in 65 of the 73 samples taken from the Practical Area for Drills (PAD). One sample taken from a fire hose outlet in the air hangar also detected PFOS. This water was used for firefighter training. The levels of PFOS ranged from less than one microgram per litre to 50 micrograms per litre.

The source of the contamination is still yet to be determined, however the pumping system and old pipes are considered the most likely.

The Board resolved to take this course of action because we could not guarantee the safety of the site.

Our focus is to ensure our people are supported during this time. I have spoken to Fiskville staff at Darley and we are already in the process of searching for an alternative site for training.

I urge anyone who is feeling anxious or upset to use CFA’s support services. We have a free 24-hour confidential counselling service for all members and their families via the Members Assistance Program on 1300 795 711. Alternatively, you can access support via your local Peer Support Program or the Chaplaincy Program on 1800 337 068.

The Fiskville Enquiry Hotline on 1800 628 616 is also available to everyone, including all CFA members and their families.

It’s important that in difficult times we look out for our colleagues, and I urge you to take care of each other during this time.

You can read the Victorian Government’s media release here.

I will continue to do my best to keep all members informed of our next steps.


Michael Wootten

Last Updated: 10 December 2015