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Working in an incident control centre
The response from our front line members to the Hazelwood open-cut fire has been nothing short of extraordinary. Firefighters have travelled from across Victoria, from MFB and from interstate. We've also had people from the same far-flung locations travel to work in incident control centres and regional control centres.
An emergency means all hands on deck and that's how incidents have been responded to across a very busy summer.
Our brigades and groups can always benefit from having more members and so can our incident control centres. Volunteering doesn't mean doing what you have to do but doing what you want to do; serving your community in the way that plays to your strengths and interests.
Not interested in getting on a fire truck? Have you thought of the secretary or treasurer role? How about a role in getting community safety messages across to locals? Would you love to work with the Juniors? Does catering appeal to you or working in group communications?
Are you technical or practical or sociable? These are all vital skills for CFA members fulfilling a range of roles. If you haven't found your niche yet, keep looking around and asking questions. Talk to your captain or group officer. Drop into your district headquarters to get a broader sense of the opportunities for advancement and challenge offered by CFA.
The current issue of Brigade magazine contains information on working in incident control centres (ICCs). There are a wide range of roles from Planning and Situation to Community Liaison, Logistics and beyond. Does working in an ICC sound right for you?
The Incident Management Team Training Project (IMTTP) aims to improve the capability of incident management personnel in Victoria. The project develops common training packages, leadership and exercising frameworks, robust accreditation programs, coaching and mentoring programs and experience-based learning tools.
If ICCs are new to you, you'll be glad to hear that the project is developing programs to help people gain experience and exposure to the incident management environment more rapidly, learn from others and from previous incidents. These programs include computer simulation, coaching and mentoring and field-based case studies. In 2013, 935 people participated in IMTTP computer simulation program activities.
A good portion of the project is focused on ensuring that all Victoria's emergency services agencies train their Level 2 and Level 3 incident management personnel to the same standard. In addition, an accreditation pathway is being introduced across all emergency service agencies. This pathway will see personnel nominated to key Level 2 and all Level 3 roles, and follow a rigorous process to develop and confirm their knowledge, skills and experience for the role.
If you are interested in performing an incident management team role, contact your group officer or operations manager to find out more. Your energy, enthusiasm and local knowledge would be most welcome.