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It felt like One CFA
Last week, staff from Gippsland Region’s Business Services team visited Traralgon and Morwell integrated fire stations. The purpose of the day was for both career firefighters and office staff to gain a better understanding of each other’s roles.
What came as a surprise for the group of female office-based staff was the extent they were going to be put through their paces, as they swapped their desks and PCs for hard hats and hoses. D Shift at Traralgon brigade had a full itinerary of exercises lined up – including use of the aerial appliance, a road accident simulation, and extinguishing fires.
Senior Station Officer at Traralgon Fire Station, Gavin Parker, explained that the best way for the group to understand what career firefighters do on a typical day shift, how new recruits are trained, and how they keep their skills current, was to encourage such a hands-on approach.
The tour of Morwell station highlighted the many specialities brigades have. Here the group received a full tour of a Hazmat appliance and learned about the brigade’s rope work and working in confined spaces.
Before too long, the day was over and it was time go. However, the experience and understanding gained of each other’s roles was invaluable. “By supporting each other we are then better able to support our frontline volunteers” said Lynda Cox, Regional Finance Officer.
With last year’s fire season in Gippsland still fresh in our minds, all involved agreed to schedule follow-up visits to ensure this kind of invaluable ‘off the cuff’ learning and development continued.
Finance Support Officer Dawn Wood’s comment summed up the sentiments of most: “I loved the enthusiasm of the staff, the willingness to share their knowledge and it was great to see a team of people have so much pride in their work, workplace and equipment. It's the first time I have felt like one CFA in a very long time”.