D13 Officer Development Program

The Officer Development course in District 13 came about thanks to the foresight of Operations Manager David Renkin, who believed there was a need to develop brigade leaders and revamp an old program developed a number of years ago in District 13.

By Andrew Booth, D13 Operations Officer 

He enlisted Operations Officers Tim Holland, Mark Kennedy and Andrew Booth to develop the program material. Fiona Martin from Learning and Development and Aleks Wakeham from the Brigade Support Team also played important roles in developing and managing the courses.

The programs are run by experienced volunteers and staff, assisted by CFA’s Wellbeing Team and peer coordinators, and courses are overseen by an operations officer. The course has nine sessions over three weeks with a formal dinner at the end.

The objective of this program is for members to gain skills in leadership, day-to-day running of a brigade, operations skills, team dynamics, and an understanding of cultural and skill differences. The first part of the course is mostly classroom based, while the final stages are hosted at VEMTC Bangholme, with TEWT (tactical exercise without troops) and PAD-based activities.

The program has three levels – basic, intermediate and senior. This ensures we cater for all levels with course material covering standard operating procedures, legislation and basic fireground practices, through to management of a brigade, people skills, leadership styles, mentoring and HR. Other topics include:

  •          Where does my brigade fit in?
  •          Where does my authority come from?
  •          Leadership across the brigade
  •          Fire Suppression and operations
  •          Principles and use of AIIMS
  •          Wellbeing
  •          Communications skills
  •          Crew Briefings
  •          Rural TEWT
  •          Practical fireground drill

The first basic program was run last year, and it was such a success that many members have returned to complete the intermediate course.

Author: Duncan Russell