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Fiskville update #17 - from Acting CEO Euan Ferguson
A key Fiskville related project took an important step forward last week with a 1.5 day regional training ground planning session at Melton.
The transition of responsibility for the regional training grounds to the Executive Director Operational Training and Volunteerism was one of 11 initiatives announced by CFA following the release of the Professor Joy Report (which included 10 separate recommendations).
The purpose of the regional training grounds is to develop the firefighting skills of our local members. These facilities were initiated and developed by our volunteers and they underpin our ability to develop and maintain our skills base.
This change reflects the CEO's and the Board's recognition of the fundamental importance of our training facilities. The regional training grounds, under the direction of the Regional Directors, have achieved very good outcomes over the years in the services they have delivered to our volunteers, staff and other emergency services customers.
The regional training ground project will build on those achievements and provide a new focus on the management and operation of the training grounds, including the introduction of standardised environmental management systems and other investments in the facilities to improve training opportunities for members.
The key thing for our members to know is that CFA training grounds are safe to use, will remain open and their relationship with them won't change.
Our brigades and members will still have the same level of access and to the same grounds but, over time, consistent standards for health, safety and environmental management will be introduced at each facility. This is good news for people using and working at the facilities.
There were many areas to consider when transitioning the facilities to Operational Training and Volunteerism to make sure there are no unexpected interruptions.
The regional training ground transition meeting was attended by a representative from each CFA Region and included Regional Directors, PAD Supervisors, other training ground staff and senior management.
The working group examined areas such as understanding the task, describing success, developing options, working out a program and creating an action plan.
Critically, 11 areas for success were identified and four of these - finances, communications, administration systems and regional training processes - were selected to focus on.
We discussed how best to address these four key areas, what needs to be addressed before the training grounds transition and what can be addressed after they transition.
I'm confident that this project is going to deliver better outcomes for our members and we'll be keeping you in the loop during each stage of the regional training ground transition process.
I would also like to acknowledge the past efforts of those members who have helped develop our training grounds, and who will play a key role in their future as well.