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New Assistant Chief for Victoria’s South West
CFA firefighters in Victoria’s South West will now be led by newly-appointed Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Bob Barry.
In the new role ACO Barry will be the Chief Officer’s representative in the field and is responsible for the delivery of fire and emergency management in the South West Region.
“I’m looking forward to leading the region and I’ll be working hard to ensure we continue to keep our people and communities safe into the future,” ACO Barry said.
Mr Barry is one of five Assistant Chief Officers (ACOs) in Victoria after CFA transitioned from eight to five regions on 2 October.
“My immediate focus is ensuring we are fully prepared for the upcoming fire season,” he said.
“We are gearing up for what we believe will be an early start to the fire season and our first priority is making sure we are ready to respond.”
ACO Barry was promoted to the role from his position as the Barwon South West Regional Director and will lead an area spanning from Geelong to the South Australia border including 262 brigades and about 11,000 volunteers.
“These changes will mean we can focus more on delivering services to the community and better support brigades to do their job.”
As an operational officer he has extensive experience and proven performance in emergency management at state, regional and district levels, providing strong and effective leadership to an integrated workforce. He has been in charge of major structural fires at petrol refineries and hazardous incidents, and has worked through major campaign fires including Ash Wednesday in 1983, the 2009 February fires and more recently he was the Incident Controller at the Hazelwood Mine fire.
The Australian Fire Services Medal recipient has notched up four decades of service to CFA after joining as a volunteer in 1975. Seven years later he signed up as a full-time day firefighter and quickly worked his way up the ranks to Station Officer, District Officer, Operations Manager, Regional Commander and Regional Director.
Despite working full-time, ACO Barry still volunteers for his local fire brigade in Lara.
“For me it’s important to give back to the community and do what I can to help others when they need it the most. I love my job and enjoy serving our dedicated volunteers and staff.”
“In my new role as an ACO, I hope to lead the South West Region towards a very bright future.”