How generous donations following the 2019-20 fire season are benefiting CFA volunteers

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The 2019-20 fire season hit Victoria hard and CFA will be forever grateful for the community response as our firefighters rallied to bring the situation under control.


From October 2019 to September 2020 we received $27.6 million in public donations. CFA’s Executive, Board and Trustees of the CFA & Brigades Donations Fund collaborated to draw up a plan to spend the funds in line with donor intent and to ensure all our volunteer brigades would be positively impacted.

A year later, the positive impacts of the extraordinary generosity of the community are evident through a range of long and shorter-term programs, projects and initiatives which will continue to be delivered this year and over the next few years. Outlined below is an update on three significant projects funded through donations.

Defibrillator Program

Just over $1 million was allocated to the Defibrillator Program to buy 426 defibrillators. This brought CFA’s total to more than 1,700 across the state. The rollout was completed in July 2021 and ensures every group vehicle will have a defibrillator and every brigade will have at least one vehicle with a defibrillator. This important life-saving equipment will improve the safety of both firefighters and community members at incidents.

“These defibrillators are so important to us. They literally mean the difference between life and death. The amazing support of the community is what’s made these additional defibrillators possible.”

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan

District Pick List Program

The $4.8 million District Pick List program supported brigades with practical items that they needed at a local level. Ninety-five per cent of CFA’s more than 1,200 brigades took up the offer to select items from the list that included popular items such as remote area lighting, quick-fill pumps and rear-view cameras. Close to 12,000 individual items were selected from the list and have now been distributed to brigades.

“The program has been ideal for small brigades to get items which are needed to enhance our capabilities.”

Mark Forder, 2nd Lieutenant, Mosquito Creek Fire Brigade

Volunteer Digital Training Program

This program improves the capacity of CFA's volunteer trainers and assessors (TAs) by purchasing 320 4G-enabled Samsung tablets for use in training, delivery and assessment. Following the success of the pilot group, phase one will be rolled out in August 2021 and will allow our TAs to deliver and assess operational training effectively and efficiently. It will also increase efficiencies in assessment and data management through real-time access to all online materials and systems. Phase two will be rolled out in early 2022.

“Fantastic resource. Access to tablets and the adaption of the Learning Hub for their use will revolutionise training, assessing and reporting of courses and the recording of skills maintenance activities."

Harold Jochs, CFA Trainer and Assessor

CFA continues to plan projects to ensure all donations from CFA Giving Community are in line with donor intent and to ensure all our volunteer brigades are positively impacted.
Once again thank you to CFA’s Giving Community for your continued generosity and support for CFA.


Submitted by Georgina Hill