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Update from Acting Chief Officer Gavin Freeman

  | Gavin Freeman Views: 2010

As acting Chief Officer, it was with great pride that I presented CFA’s contribution last Friday to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. 

Update from Acting Chief Officer Gavin Freeman

As an organisation we collected and raised a total of $1,612,671. Once again, I found myself to be blown away by the generosity of Victorians, and the efforts of our people.

Across the state CFA members rattled tins, baked cakes, held raffles, sizzled sausages and much more, all in the name of a terrific cause. Every little bit counts and together, it certainly all adds up.

Money raised from the Good Friday Appeal goes towards ensuring The Royal Children's Hospital continues to offer world-class care, the latest equipment and research to help sick children have the best start in life.

CFA were once again the main contributor to the overall tally raised for the Good Friday Appeal, which totalled $18.1 million – a new record.

I started the Easter weekend last Thursday with my MFB counterpart Dan Stephens at the CFA-MFB 14hr treadmill challenge. A total of 270km was run, and over $8,000 raised at this wonderful event.

On Friday I had the pleasure of checking out the Good Friday Appeal Kids Day Out, a wonderful initiative that CFA is lucky to be a part of. Not only were more funds raised, but we were also able to pass on some valuable fire safety information to kids and parents, and hopefully attract a few future firefighters as well. Walking around the event I was proud to see almost every second person wearing a plastic CFA helmet, this is testament to the high regard you are all held within the community, we should never lose sight of that and remain focussed on what it is we exist for, serving Victorians.

Once again, congratulations and well done to all involved in the Good Friday Appeal – a job well done.  I hope everyone was able to enjoy some family time over the long weekend.

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With the winter months approaching, many of you will be taking the opportunity to refresh your skills, I would like to reinforce the importance of safety at all times.

We train to ensure we stay safe at incidents, however, we must remember to stay safe when training.

Training is a big part of what we do, while we should not injure people during training, unfortunately we do so too often for my liking.

Please, ensure you risk assess and fully understand all of the safety requirements before undertaking training, regardless of where the training is happening.

Most importantly remember to wear all of your PPC during training as you would at an incident, we need you in good condition and ready to respond when the community needs us most.

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On a more sombre note, I’d like to offer my sincerest condolences to Life Saving Victoria, the Victoria State Emergency Service, and the families of those involved in the tragic incident at Port Campbell over the weekend.

There were two lives lost in the operation to rescue a distressed swimmer, with CFA Port Campbell brigade captain Phil Younis also involved, suffering serious injuries in the incident in his role as a LSV volunteer.

This is an extraordinarily tough time for family and friends of those volunteers, who were risking their lives to serve their community, just as our volunteers do.

Our thoughts are with all affected.

CFA has a range of wellbeing support services available to all volunteers, employees and their immediate family members. When you contact any of these services, make sure you identify yourself as a CFA member, partner or/family member of a CFA volunteer or employee. For assistance call 1800 959 232.