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The CFA Plan and the Operational Training Strategy
A dinner held in Bendigo the night before the June Board meeting gave members of the CFA and VFBV Boards the chance to say goodbye to Regional Director Pat O'Brien and acknowledge the excellent work he has done in his 18 years at the helm in the north west. Some senior Loddon Mallee staff and volunteers also enjoyed the dinner.
The Board meeting began with an update on the draft CFA Plan 2013-2018 from the Performance and Strategy directorate. It has incorporated the findings from a series of workshops run with a cross section of members and regular discussions with the executive leadership team.
The draft establishes our strategic priorities as a collaborative emergency response agency that delivers services which mitigate risk and improve public safety; a community that shares emergency risk mitigation through capable first response and committed partnerships; improved land management practices advance resilience in the built and natural environments; frontline people who drive efficient, effective and sustainable service delivery; with our people being safe, capable, engaged and sharing a common purpose.
The same directorate also presented the quarterly Risk Report which gives an overview of organisational risks. While the risks of extreme events and interoperability remain unchanged, the report acknowledges that all standard operating procedures and memorandums of understanding between the agencies were tested during a long and intense fire season with no major issues found, although post-season debriefs are not yet complete.
The other three of the top five risks are improving: government and stakeholder relations were deemed to be progressing along with training campus issues with $16.8 million allocated to Fiskville in the recent State budget.
The third improved category of risk was health and safety and this was also the subject of the Health, Safety and Environment Policy statement endorsed by the Board.
Two overarching statements lay out the policy principles: the health and safety of our people will at all times remain our first priority; and CFA is committed to protecting our environment by using our resources efficiently and striving to minimise the environmental impact of our activities and operations.
Another significant piece of work presented to the Board was the Fire and Emergency Management Operational Training Strategy 2013- 2018; part of CFA's response to the 2011 Jones Inquiry into arrangements for CFA volunteers. It also follows on from the 2012 Operational Training Discussion Paper which received 190 responses from teams, brigades, groups, districts and regions.
This consultative approach has led to a strategy that highlights the importance of developing our people, demonstrating leadership and continually seeking to develop our capability.
Successful implementation of the strategy will ensure that Fire and Emergency Management staff drive the planning and achievement of training goals in partnership with brigades and groups to ensure that training is aligned with service delivery priorities.