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Volunteer training hots up
Emergency services volunteers from across Central Victoria will now have better access to vital practical training thanks to a major upgrade at five CFA managed Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre campuses.
The upgrade to the training campuses at Huntly, Longerenong, Penhurst, Wangaratta, and West Sale are all part of a $7.75 million Victorian Government Fixed Training Infrastructure Program, which aims to give emergency services volunteers better access to training and education services. A new CFA managed VEMTC is being established at Mildura in the North West of the state,
CFA Executive Director of Operational Training and Volunteerism, Lex de Man AFSM, said that the upgrade was part of a broader plan to improve training state-wide that had been five years’ in the making.
“The type of training offered at our campuses gives our volunteers the skills and practical experience that is essential for their role in protecting the community,” he said.
“All of the VEMTC campuses are purpose-designed to allow volunteers to take part in training scenarios that are as close as possible to reality.
“Facilities provide for both ‘live fire’ simulations and other scenarios that reflect the variety – and complexity – of incidents that emergency services volunteers face.”
The upgrade includes new well-equipped breathing apparatus facilities, a training room, first aid room and dirty mess area, with upgrades to existing change rooms and amenities.
Mr de Man said that improvements to VEMTC facilities around Victoria, would cut down on the time emergency services volunteers spent travelling to access specialist training.
The improvements are also consistent with recommendations from the 2011 Jones Inquiry, which urged that training be made more accessible for volunteers.
Mr de Man said that with $25 million in improvements to the Fiskville training campus, and the new EMVTC at Craigieburn, Victoria’s emergency service personnel now had access to some of the best practical training facilities anywhere in the country.
“The network of training facilities means no matter what the hazard or the agency, all those who put their hand up to protect lives and property have access to the best training facilities available,” he said.
More than 37,000 CFA volunteer operational firefighters and around 700 CFA career firefighters protect 65 per cent of Melbourne and all of regional areas.