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Training Infrastructure moves ahead
Fixed Training Infrastructure Project
In recent times we've made some good progression on the development of our Mobile and Fixed Training Infrastructure Projects.The purpose of the Fixed Training Infrastructure Project is to ensure that CFA's five regional Field Training Grounds (FTG) at Huntly, Wangaratta, Penshurst, Longerenong and West Sale, remain Training Ready and Fit for Purpose.
At our Field Training Grounds, work is progressing well on site upgrades at Sale, Longerenong, Penshurst, Huntly, and Wangaratta. This includes proposed improvements to classroom, ablutions, mess areas, and storage facilities as well as the inclusion of BA filling stations and BA learning areas.
Draft drawings/plans have now been prepared and have been reviewed by the CFA Protective Equipment (PE) team to ensure that the BA filling station layouts and adjacencies to other areas of each field training ground meet required safety and process standards.
During this planning process, there has been a focus on achieving consistency across the CFA field training grounds. While layouts will differ to suit individual field training grounds, construction materials and finishes will be consistent across all sites. Given that we have a fixed budget, our Land and Building Services will explore construction material and approach options to ensure CFA obtains the best value for money whilst ensuring safe and fit for purpose solutions.
The draft drawings will be sent to the Managers Training and Development (MTDs) for review by the appropriate personnel within the Regions.
Following a review by the Projects Steering Committee, detailed drawings will proceed with input from CFA OH&S to ensure that fit out of additional classrooms, amenities, storage spaces etc. is to the necessary Workplace Safety standards.
Mobile training Infrastructure
There's also been good progress on the introduction of the Mobile Training Infrastructure project. The objective of this project is to provide volunteers with greatly improved access to realistic, safe and effective operational training opportunities through the introduction of appropriate mobile training assets.
The three mobile training prop prototypes are undergoing evaluation and Energy Safe Victoria certification. These props are due to be handed over to CFA in the near future..
Once we take possession, they will remain at Fiskville for about seven weeks for review, planning and operator training. A stakeholder working group will develop training scenarios, prepare drill briefs and undertake CFA safety assessments.
Following the evaluation period at Fiskville, the trial period will commence. The prototype mobile props will be transported to predetermined CFA sites across the state in order for local Brigades/Groups in all 8 Regions to have the opportunity to view the props.
Volunteers to be part of the Trial Phase
The proposed operational model for the trial phase will be to provide volunteers from the Regions/Districts with the opportunity to be trained to operate and instruct with the units.
During training delivery, two nominated volunteers (per mobile prop) will be responsible for training - one trained volunteer will be responsible for the safe operation of the unit and the other will facilitate the training.
This trial phase will include an ongoing evaluation process to understand and remedy any issues and identify opportunities prior to adding any further props to the fleet. A representative of the CFA Operational Training and Volunteerism (OT&V) Directorate will also accompany each prop during the trial period to ensure safety processes are adhered to during siting and operation and record observations and evaluation.
Managers Training and Development are now considering potential sites on which to locate a mobile training unit, and volunteers who may be interested in taking part in the trial.
This week, myself, and Executive Manager Learning Development James Stitz will be holding a Q&A session at 6pm on Wednesday night about the Operational Training Discussion Paper.
I encourage everyone to get involved in the online forum (www.cfaconnect.net.au/news/q-a-with-lex-de-man.html)
This will be another opportunity for CFA members to ask questions and have their say on CFA's future operational training strategies. The discussion paper and online survey is now available on the Brigades Online website and we're asking members to provide feedback before Friday 7 September.