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National Volunteer Week, Monday 14 - Sunday 20 May
Shepparton Emergency Medical Response Trial:
Senior Station Officer Peter Dedman from Shepparton has reported that the Shepparton Emergency Medical Response trial has just passed its 6 month anniversary. He reports that the trial is running well with all members at Shepparton who are qualified as EMR responders being content with the EMR role. For the 6 month period, the Brigade has responded to 38 EMR calls with work carried out on 13 patients. 13 calls were cancelled en route and 10 did not require EMR tasks to be performed. Ambulance Victoria assisted with CPR at 7 calls. Overall there have been 6 EMR calls a month which breaks down to EMR calls being 1 out of every 3 calls to the Brigade.
Health and Wellbeing:
Health and wellbeing is not just about physical fitness alone. "Wellness" incorporates our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional capacities. These four capacities - our physical and our psychological wellbeing - go hand in hand. While most of us are comfortable to discuss physical fitness, to a large extent, our society still sees mental health issues as taboo, and as a consequence we often don't talk about mental health. Sometimes there are warning signs to alert us that a brigade member or colleague may not be mentally or emotionally well. Some indicators may include: unplanned absences, decline in performance, increased levels of conflict, or simply that a person "isn't themselves". If you are concerned about a colleague, ask them "How are you travelling?" CFA's Welfare Services can support members and their immediate families through difficult times. Visit Brigades On Line or the CFA Intranet and search for Welfare Services. You can also contact your Region office or Peer Coordinator for more information.
"Operationalising" Group Meetings:
Last week the CFA Board met in Gippsland. Regional Director Mark Reid gave a wonderfully uplifting briefing about the current approach the Gippsland team are taking. Mark spoke of "operationalising" Group meetings. This has resulted in the administrative discussion being kept to the first 30 minutes, followed by a 60 minute TEWT on some operational scenario. (A TEWT is a "Tactical Exercise Without Troops"). In Gippsland, CFA has provided large floor maps that provide the basis for the TEWT. TEWTS can also be done effectively with the aid of toy vehicles, aircraft and buildings. Patches and strips of coloured cloth can signify rivers, forest, highways and so on. The Gippsland team have spent time discussing how best to plan and conduct TEWTS. As a result, there are now a number of teams, led by locally experienced volunteers, who are gradually moving around the Region. TEWTS are an excellent way of training younger leaders. They are a good way of testing out the effect of decision making in relation to new operational policies (for example: evacuations).
".... Individuality is far more important than uniformity; personality more important than congruity; and originality more important than conventionality ......"
- JFC Fuller