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Latest news from Greg Esnouf, NWM Regional Director
Northern and Western Metropolitan region continues to grow to meet the challenges posed by rapid urban growth and changing risks.
In July, another new brigade was created at Eynesbury, which is a new township bring created to the south of Melton. Thanks to Parwan brigade and District 15 for supporting and nurturing this new brigade. This follows on from the creation of Wyndham Vale brigade 12 months ago, which is servicing the rapidly
growing suburbs to the north-west of Werribee. Congratulations to both brigades.
Over 30,000 additional people are coming into Northern and Western Metropolitan region every year and our long-term planning is for another six brigades to be created in the next 20 years when it's forecast that CFA will be servicing 1.2 million people in the region - double the current population.
The region has also seen some other changes recently with additional career firefighters at Point Cook, Melton and Sunbury, and MFB secondees at Sunbury and Point Cook providing some much-needed additional support to our staff and volunteers. We're also keenly supporting the next generation of career firefighters with 12 graduates from the last two recruit courses at Fiskville being placed in the region.
We are currently half way through a nine-month trial for a new pilot mentoring program for captains and first lieutenants involving 12 participants - six as mentors and six as mentees. The mentors are experienced captains and first lieutenants from within the district. The program aims to provide support to captains and first lieutenants around their broader brigade leadership role, rather than command and control.
A particular feature of the program is that it is mentee driven, giving those being mentored a space to work through problems or bounce around ideas about any aspect of their role that they find challenging or are seeking to further develop. The mentor rle focuses on support and knowledge sharing, rather than taking a directive approach, with an emphasis on professional development for all participants.
To date feedback is positive, and program participants appear to be reaping the benefits of the opportunity to share experiences through access to a peer they may not normally encounter.
In addition to the trial mentoring program, our bushfire safety program in camping stores in the region around peak holiday time has received positive feedback.