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This week's Jones Inquiry release
The release of the Jones Inquiry this week comes at a great time for the Operational Training and Volunteerism department which I head up.
The OTV department was established nine months ago to concentrate on the needs and direction of CFA volunteers. Since then, our focus has been very similar to that of the Jones Inquiry and we were happy to meet with the Honourable David Jones and make a contribution.
As a department, we have been particularly focused on volunteer training and skills and the 41 Jones Inquiry ‘recommendations' will serve as a blueprint for our future. I see it as really setting a framework for OTV and it will reinforce and enhance the ongoing support that we provide to volunteerism.
We have already started work on new mobile training equipment, upgrading old equipment, creating a skills map review, developing a member induction DVD and improving the structure of our department to help deliver the best we can for our volunteers.
There have been other changes too with new management at Fiskville and Bangholme and soon we will have all training material on-line and we are working to create systems where brigades can record training on-line (which has been a significant issue for some brigades).
We are also working to finalise our first aid policy so, as you can see, over the past nine months there has been plenty of work being done to build on the support we provide for volunteers.
There were many interesting recommendations and comments in the Inquiry - including reimbursing volunteers for costs incurred and the need for greater diversity in our ranks - and I encourage all members to read the report.
The Jones Inquiry will now further drive and guide the work already underway and, as a long-time CFA volunteer myself, I welcome its release as a positive step.
On behalf of OTV I would like to thank all CFA members who took part in this Inquiry which I know will deliver lasting improvements to how we support our volunteers.