The Chair of the Board, Mr Greg Smith AM, began the meeting by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which the meeting was taking place.
Emergency Medical Response
First up, the Board received a presentation from DCO Gavin Freeman and Ms Kelly Dowling, EMR Project Manager, about Emergency Medical Response in CFA. The Board noted that there are now 27 integrated and three volunteer-only brigades performing the EMR role, 904 career staff and 80 volunteers are EMR qualified, and CFA was dispatched to over 2,000 EMR events in 2017.
The Board then received reports from various committees, including:
- The Community Engagement Committee, which has had a focus on community fire refuges and the Community Engagement Strategy;
- The Strategy, Planning and Governance Committee, which will be assisting the Board in its 2018 strategy development process that is due to begin soon; and
- The Health, Safety and Environment Committee, which is overseeing a Fresh Approach to HSE within CFA.
CEO, CO and CFO reports
The Chief Executive Officer, Chief Officer and Acting Chief Financial Officer all spoke about their reports to the Board.
The CEO’s report highlighted the joint CFA and MFB firefighter recruitment campaign, and collaboration between CFA and MFB on the implementation of the Fire Services Statement.
The Chief Officer’s report highlighted:
- Over 2,000 members completed the Tree Hazard Awareness training in January, bringing the total to nearly 16,000 members (6,500 via e-learning);
- CFA is working closely with VicRoads on wire rope safety barriers;
- CFA and the Bureau of Meteorology have developed a National Grassland Curing System requirements document; and
- The delivery of A Matter of Respect workshops has commenced, with the initial target audience being regional, district and HQ leaders.
The Acting Chief Financial Officer reported to the Board on CFA’s financial performance for the period ended 31 January 2018.
Performance Report and response time data
The Board discussed the Quarter Two Performance Report, and asked for further advice on actions underway and potential strategies to improve the representation of women among operational staff. The Board also discussed the response time performance data that was released on 15 February, and agreed that stronger acknowledgement should be given to those brigades that are performing well or that are achieving significant improvement in their response times.
As part of the Board’s role in strategy development, the Board will be holding a strategy workshop in late March or early April.
The Executive Director Communications and Government Relations presented to the Board CFA’s Communications Strategy, highlighting the current context, challenges and priorities, and opportunities to enhance the delivery of CFA’s communication through an improved digital presence and more mobile activity.
Values and principles
The Board also considered the CFA values and guiding principles, which are being refreshed. The Board endorsed the revised values and principles for consultation with CFA’s key stakeholders.
Working with Children Check
The Board noted progress with the implementation of the decision to expand the requirement for members to obtain a Working with Children Check to include all adult members of brigades with members under 18 years of age.