News & Media

USAR team welcomed home, local training, upcoming briefings...

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 23 March, 2011

Views: 8630

Chief Officers Commendations To Melton Crew: In the last "From The Chief Officer..." I referred to Chief Officer's commendations to Melton members. I omitted Lt Peter Staindl from the list of recipients. My mistake - sorry Peter!

New Zealand Earthquake
Recently we welcomed home the Victorian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team from their deployment to earthquake-hit Christchurch. CFA USAR Specialists SSO Doug Broom (Frankston) and SO Tony Heafield (Geelong City) were part of this contingent. This team was the second deployment of Australian personnel and included members from CFA, MFB, Ambulance Victoria and SES. They were involved in the grim search for deceased victims of the disaster through the process of "de-layering" rubble in the quake zone. The difficult task performed by the team was performed tremendously well. Job well done team!

Brigade And Local Level Training Delivery:
Everyone has a responsibility to pass on knowledge and wisdom to our future generations. We all have this responsibility. Whilst CFA recognises the Australian Qualifications Framework, it is important to distinguish the formal competency assessment process from the process of teaching, learning and skills acquisition. It is very important to stress that there is a huge amount of training delivery that can be undertaken at a local, group or brigade level. Local training can (and should) be delivered by competent and experienced operational firefighters. In other words, not all training has to be delivered by CFA Instructors. Brigade level and local training delivery can and should be delivered, as much as possibly can, by local people. If there is a need for an assessment - then this can be undertaken as a separate activity by suitably qualified and experienced brigade personnel.

Level 3 Incident Controller Briefings:
DC/O John Haynes has advised that Level 3 Incident Controller briefings have been conducted around the state over the last 3 weeks. The briefings cover the proposed accreditation process for Level 3 Incident Controllers. This process will include Work Preference Assessment; Scenario Testing; Evidence Gathering; Individual Development Plans and a Joint Panel review. There is little doubt that the skills and attributes of Incident Controllers and IMT members often comes under great scrutiny following major events. By aligning our process of accreditation, CFA and DSE are moving to a more robust and transparent framework that will better serve and protect our people.

After Action Reviews:
Following the January and February floods, a number of debriefs are under way. CFA has also been advised that the Victorian Bushfire Recommendations Implementation Monitor Mr Neil Comrie, is convening a number of multi-agency debriefs and public meetings. Mr Comrie will provide his findings to the Government mid 2011. Details of the debrief and public meetings are being sent to Regional Managers and Operations Managers. The debrief process highlights the importance of After Action Reviews (or AAR's). AAR's are a method that is used immediately after an event, or an action is completed. AAR's focus on the crew answering following questions:

* What did we set out to do?

* What actually happened?

* Why did it happen?

* What can we do better next time?

AAR's should be exploratory and encourage open conversation. There should be no judgement or blame associated with the process. AAR's are a valuable supplement to the debrief process. We encourage their use at a local level very soon after an incident has been completed.

Quote of the week:

"Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. The moral of the story is: It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."

- Anon.

Last Updated: 10 December 2015