Professor Joy also advised us that the interview process is proving not only to be an opportunity for CFA members to tell their story, but is also essential for him to gain useful information and that this is going to take more time. Professor Joy does not wish to pre-empt any outcomes or findings by issuing an interim report.
The extension was approved to honour CFA's commitment of ensuring a thorough and detailed investigation. Our members are our priority so it is important to give all members - past and present - every opportunity to contribute and be heard as part of this investigation.
When the allegations were first made in December last year we assured our members that we were determined to deal with this matter properly and seriously - we owe that to our people.
One of the issues identified in the Jones report was the need for better communication with volunteers. We know there are improvements to be made in this area. While it's important for us to not overload you with communication, there are times when we need to send you operational and CFA-wide information. In order to determine how our members want to be kept up-to-date, CFA's strategic Communications team have developed a short survey for all members to complete. The survey will be available both online and as a tear-out hard copy in the Autumn edition of Brigade magazine with a reply paid envelope for members to complete. It will also be included in the VFBV quarterly mail-out. I encourage you to take part and have your say at:
It is with great pleasure that I announce the following appointments to the roles of: -
I have particularly found the exchanges of views, experience and ideas at the leadership courses to be of great personal value. It's been very instructive for me, as always, to see how others go about exercising leadership. The debriefs we conduct, after each participant has a go at leading the team through a mission, have produced some deep and meaningful exchanges.
Our thanks to the wonderful effort by a significant number of CFA and other agency personnel in bringing the HAZMAT incident at the Koppers coal tar pitch facility at Portland to a close. Hundreds of CFA members were involved in a range of roles. The incident was an outstanding example of agencies working together in an integrated, collaborative and collegiate way.
We recognise that our members are busy people, and we don't want to add to the information overload. There are times, however, when members need to be across operational and CFA-wide issues, and we want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information available.
The signs will be trialled over the next two months and are managed by CFA on behalf of the Fire Services Commissioner.
Also at the February meeting, Regional Manager Greg Esnouf and his team presented the North West Metropolitan Region's growth strategy. In this region alone the population is expected to grow by almost 240,000 people in the next 10 years; good, forward-looking strategies like this will address challenges to our service delivery.
At the Foster fire station in South Gippsland today, we launched a set of new and innovative ‘online' programs and other products that's going to make the delivery and maintenance of CFA training a lot more accessible from now on.
The Performance and Strategy introduction session held last Friday afternoon was a great success. We spent the afternoon getting to know one another and participating in a team-building workshop hosted by facilitator Peter O'Brien from LSC Consulting.
Today marks the third anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires. For so many people, including CFA members, their families, their friends, their neighbours and their workmates, this will be a special and sensitive day.
The Performance and Strategy team brings into line a key part of Creating Our Future Together. Changes to our organisational structure are about enhancing our fire & emergency management support, building capacity, and positioning CFA into the future.
Some items of interest from the Bushfires Portfolio this month:
We reflect on the courage and strength shown by communities, including CFA members, CFA families and brigades, who lost so much in the fires and are reminded of their professionalism, dedication, courage and selfless bravery.
An enduring feature of our landscape is fire and flood and drought. And this has given rise to a uniquely Australian characteristic - that of emergency service volunteering. Emergency service volunteering in Australia is in many ways unique. No other country in the world can boast the comprehensive and professional volunteer emergency services that we see here in Victoria and other states. Indeed, as I travel the globe, many countries look upon us and our emergency service arrangements with envy.
The hygienists, both commissioned by CFA, found that while there were some minor areas for improvement, there were no significant risks to the health and safety of those working at the site or those attending as trainees or visitors.
The Member ID Project is implementing a coordinated interagency response to Recommendation 19 of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Final Report for CFA members to have an identification card or similar to facilitate their passage through roadblocks established in accordance with the Interagency Guidelines for the Operation of Traffic Management Points During Bushfires.
Changes To Incidents Page On CFA Web Site:
After listening to concerns expressed by members of the public, CFA has re-introduced detail on the District number and the number of appliances at incidents on the CFA website. At the same time, CFA, DSE and the Fire Services Commissioner have been reviewing advice and warning messaging associated with recent incidents. In particular, the process for updating our website and the process for issuing updates on social media such as twitter and the CFA Facebook page. The use of social media for warnings is still new. We are learning as we go and continuously improving.
Now the Independent Investigator is up and running, we urge members with information useful to the inquiry to contact Professor Joy's team directly on
(03) 5420 9260 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Fire Department Safety Video:
In an effort to make personal safety a top priority, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) have released a new video, Chicago Fire Department - Everyone Goes Home®. More than two dozen survivors of fallen firefighters, including co-workers and family members, participated in the filming of Chicago Fire Department - Everyone Goes Home. All members of the Chicago Fire Department have had the opportunity to see Chicago Fire Department - Everyone Goes Home® and it is now available for the entire fire service. To see the video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=vODww1qwSuE.
The independent investigation is due to report back by the end of March 2012, after which it will be made public.
We ask for patience while this work is being done.
I'd like to assure members that a recent WorkSafe inspection carried out on the site, along with our own, have not indicated any concerns with current practices at Fiskville.
The Green Paper sought submissions from individuals, community groups, the emergency management sector and emergency services, and represents the first step in the process to further reform Victoria's emergency management arrangements.
We also announced a new ‘Investigation and Information' hot line (1800 628 616) for people with concerns to call between 8:30am and 8:30pm. Callers will by able to access assistance directly, or be referred on for further advice.
People can call the information line anonymously, however, data regarding calls taken and issues raised will be reported to ensure appropriate follow-up action is taken where required. People can also email: email@example.com
With 25 years' experience in environment protection and resource management, his credentials are exemplary.
Chief Officer Euan Ferguson reported to the Board that grassland curing is nearly 100 per cent in the northwest of the State and well advanced in the west, north and north central. CFA messaging and readiness/response strategies have been modified.
Since becoming aware of the allegations for the first time when contacted by the newspaper yesterday, we have set up a team who will provide support to CFA members - staff and volunteers - who spent time at Fiskville and investigate the allegations. There are members who will understandably be concerned by the reports.
The BPMO gathered evidence of the Township Protection Plan (TPP) project not only delivering but exceeding the BRCIM's requirement of 140 plans with a total of 200 new TPPs which are now available on the CFA website. The TPPs were developed by CFA in consultation with local councils and communities for people who live in or visit townships with a high risk of bushfire. Read more
TO ALL CFA MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This morning's Herald Sun contains an article by Ruth Lamperd that makes a number of very serious allegations linking CFA's Training College at Fiskville to cancers in CFA members and their families.
These are very serious claims. The first time that we became aware of this report was yesterday when we were asked for comment by the Herald Sun.
We are very concerned for the health of our current and former CFA employees.