News & Media

Fiskville, our field training grounds and the Professor Joy Report

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 16 July, 2012

Views: 4242

Last week we saw a lot of public and media comment about the matters surrounding the use of training fires at Fiskville in the 1970s through to the 1990s. This matter is difficult for us all. As CEO Mick Bourke (in expressing the CFA Board's feelings) says: We regret what has happened at Fiskville in the past. It is not good enough. For those who may be affected by those past practices, we are deeply sorry for the pain and stress that this has caused, and continues to cause.

For many, particularly those who are in the "High" AND "Medium" exposure brackets, this continues to be a worrying time. I urge all CFA members to go to the CFA website and download a copy of the CFA response to the Professor Joy Report. The response includes Professor Joy's conclusions and recommendations. Most importantly the response commits to implementing every one of the ten recommendations. Management are also proposing an additional eleven actions. There have been some calls to close Fiskville. Fiskville is not closing. There is nothing in the report that suggests that Fiskville should close. CFA has engaged hygienists and environmental management experts to provide advice on the current risks to current users at Fiskville. These experts have advised us that Fiskville is safe to use and that there is no evidence that would support the closing of Fiskville. Monitoring of various aspects of the Fiskville and at all CFA Field Training Grounds will continue. CFA will be instituting a regime of individual health monitoring. Further (retrospective) health studies are also proposed. Last week was a difficult week for the CFA family. CFA is moving forward and intends to care for its people as best we can, whilst we fix the problems created in the past.

State Aircraft Unit Annual Report:
Aviation minded personnel in CFA may be interested in this link to the State Aircraft Unit (SAU) annual report for 2010/11. It is located under 'Information' > 'About SAU', at the bottom of the page.

CFA Sunday 2012 - 25th November 2012:
Based on positive feedback from last year, CFA Sunday is on again, planned for 25th November. Last year more than 450 brigades opened their doors, and many saw large numbers of the public streaming in to meet their local CFA members. I strongly encourage any brigades who have the capacity to get involved to contact their District office. One day we hope "CFA Sunday" will be as prominent as the Good Friday Appeal. This needs as many brigades on board as possible! We'll be encouraging the public to bring their family, enjoy the activities and make it a family day out. If your brigade wants to be a part of CFA Sunday, please register with your District office by 14th September.

New Prototype Medium Tankers On Show:
Two prototypes of the new medium sized (2,300 litre) rural tankers are making their way around the state for members to see and operate. The new 2012 model is smaller, lighter, easier to manoeuvre and more versatile than ever before. These tankers have the pumping and engine power of a larger, heavy tanker. The project will see 74 new tankers distributed to rural stations across the state by June next year. They are built by Victorian manufacturers SEM Fire and Rescue at Ballarat and Bell Environmental at Sunshine. The dates and times of each prototype visit are now published on CFA Connect. We are encouraging comment, criticism and suggestions for improvements before committing to final specifications for the main production run.

Chief Officer's Principles For Resource Allocation
A set of principles has been established by the Chief Officer to guide the allocation of resources for operational purposes. The principles provide necessary flexibility around service delivery and resource allocation and will help CFA to meet changing community needs and expectations. The overarching principles are that primacy will be given to the protection of life, and community risk is a shared responsibility. The principles will be of guidance when engaging with members, brigades, VFBV and the UFU on the overall prioritisation of service delivery resource allocation. You can download and read the full principles from CFA Connect.

 "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

- Teddy Roosevelt

Last Updated: 10 December 2015