News & Media

Saving lives and dollar losses

By: James Wong

Category: Community Safety, Training & Recruitment

  12.32 AM 1 October, 2013

Location: General

Views: 2330

Recently, around 55 CFA and MFB Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program (JFAIP) practitioners from across Victoria, including three volunteer firefighters, collaborated to carry out important skills maintenance training.

This annual training is an example of Victorian firefighters going over and above their normal roles. 

Victoria's JFAIP program aims to prevent loss of life, injury and property damage caused by a young person’s fire play or firesetting. This is achieved through:

  • Assisting families/carers in dealing with the young person’s fire lighting
  • Educating the young person and family network about fire safety
  • Assisting young people in taking responsibility for their actions
  • Assisting young people in taking responsibility for fire safety
  • Encouraging self-esteem.

Victoria's team of JFAIP practitioners consists of firefighters from both the MFB and CFA who are specially trained to deliver the intervention programs. Each intervention is unique and based on the person involved, their age, maturity, learning ability and style, their background and history (if any) of fire play or fire setting.

When a case is referred to JFAIP, a practitioner will interview the person alongside an adult/carer and will use a diverse range of training aids and resources carefully tailored to suit each individual case. Family involvement and support in the program is critical and this will be emphasised throughout the program.

The recent skills maintenance training was conducted as a series of workshops that gave participants the opportunity to work with and get to know one another, irrespective of which service they were from. The workshops were held at MFB's Burnley Complex, CFA's Melton and Hallam fire stations. They were held throughout August and September.

The training consisted of group activities, case studies, open discussion about the program, and concluded with a special presentation from the Alfred Hospital's Burns Unit, covering Victorian burn figures and trends, risk groups, different types of burns, burns assessment, and burns treatments facilitated by Burns Unit technicians. The presentation was delivered by Yvonne Singer, the Victorian State Burns Education Program Coordinator, and was well received by all the firefighters.

Although each workshop covered the same topics, there were still many and varied responses and different methods to case studies that were identified. This was expected though, as it highlights that there are many approaches to this ever present type of fire awareness and intervention. It was also an opportunity to affirm the skills, knowledge and experience of our JFAIP practitioner team.

JFAIP is committed to delivering a professional and timely service to the Victorian community. Furthermore, it is yet another example of the high level of interoperability between Victoria's fire services to achieve a common goal.

For more information about JFAIP contact:

  • JFAIP State Coordinator, Murray Talbot (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • CFA JFAIP Coordinator, Chris Barber (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • MFB JFAIP Practitioner representative, LFF Brian Monaghan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • CFA JFAIP Practitioner representative, LFF James Wong (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • CFA District JFAIP Coordinator

You can also find relevant information on the MFB and CFA intranet or websites.

Some points to remember:

The JFAIP Profile summary:
• age and maturity based
• delivered in your own home
• free of charge
• strictly confidential*.

The profile of JFAIP client:
• The average age is 9-10 years (with their first interest in fire at between 2 and 4 years of age)
• Majority are boys
• There is generally at least one smoker in the family
• The majority are from single parent families
• Not uncommon for the young person to have a learning difficulty, social or behaviour problem
* In accordance with program policy all information obtained remains confidential. A copy of program policy can be obtained from the JFAIP State Coordinator.

Last Updated: 01 October 2013