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Operational Training and Volunteerism, one month in...
As Executive Manager I will work closely with the Chief Officer and report directly to the CEO.
I will also oversee the development and delivery of operational training courses and work to build networks and programs aimed at improving the volunteer experience.
The decision to form a new department was driven by a desire from the organisation to raise the profile of volunteerism and operational training within CFA.
Ensuring volunteers and staff are appropriately trained and skilled is fundamental to CFA's capacity and its capability to respond to the needs and demands of Victoria.
An increased focus at the executive level will better reflect the importance of operational training and key issues for CFA members across the state.
We will be working extremely closely with the Chief Officer to ensure that the training our members receive meets his requirements.
While the department's volunteerism function currently encompasses member services and activities such as Memberlink, Awards, the Championships and the Youth Unit, there will also be a strong emphasis on strategy.
A key objective is to increase understanding and appreciation of the volunteer workforce within CFA, while maintaining networks with other emergency services organisations and working closely with regional management teams.
The department also aims to facilitate consultation with volunteers to ensure that their input is fed into relevant planning and decision-making processes.
A forward-thinking approach to volunteerism will also entail the development of strategies to support brigades in areas with shifting populations.
The challenge we face as an organisation is looking at the population growth areas of Victoria and the decline in some rural areas, and determining how best to support the field.
This means having a vision for the sustainability of volunteerism and the support provided by staff.
I have begun visiting regional training teams throughout the state and will also be heading out to VFBV council meetings over the coming months.