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New CFA Chief Officer

Posted by CFA Media
Friday, 01 October 2010

CFA today announced Euan Ferguson as its new Chief Officer.

Mr Ferguson is currently the South Australian Country Fire Service Chief Executive Officer and Chief Officer and is also a former CFA member. He will return home to Victoria to take up the position on 15 November, 2010.

CFA CEO Mick Bourke said the appointment follows a national and international recruitment search and is significant for CFA’s 58,000 volunteers, more than 500 career firefighters and other staff.

“Euan Ferguson is a nationally respected emergency management leader and will provide a high level of executive capacity and leadership for CFA, its people and stakeholders,” Mr Bourke said. “He has been responsible for South Australia’s fire operations, planning, preparedness and response for almost a decade, and has built up a wealth of experience during that time.

“Prior to being appointed Chief Officer in SA, Euan spent eight years working for CFA in a number of positions including Acting Chief Officer, Deputy Chief Officer and Operations Manager, and he has a strong understanding of  the reliance on community based volunteer fire brigades in both the SA and Victorian setting.”

Mr Ferguson said he is honored to have been selected as the next CFA Chief Officer and that his wife and three boys also feel really positive about re-joining the CFA family. 

“CFA is a great team.  I am privileged to be one of its leaders and I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead," Mr Ferguson said. “CFA and Victorian fire agencies have been through a substantial period of change since Black Saturday.  I am pleased to be able to join a team that will be working through the lessons learned from the fires and the recommendations of the Royal Commissioners.

“Events such as Black Saturday are tragedies for everyone involved, but it is important we learn lessons to make CFA a stronger and better organisation and Victoria a safer place to live. For this, we have a duty to future generations. 
”I'd like to reinforce the importance of the role of CFA's volunteers and of our frontline firefighting staff and I look forward to getting out and engaging with them. In my view, a key role of senior management is to provide support and resources so that frontline firefighters feel well sustained, trained, equipped and well led. 

“As a modern fire service, CFA will work with our partners to engage with the community and strengthen individual and household resilience.”  

Mr Bourke said Mr Ferguson brings years of national and international experience in the industry and, importantly, has a strong appreciation of land management, community engagement and brigade capability as ingredients to high performance fire services.

“CFA has embarked on a series of changes, as it works with other agencies to implement the Royal Commission recommendations, and Euan will play a critical role in continuing to drive these improvements. He will also work closely with the new Fire Services Commissioner, Craig Lapsely, on reforms to the fire services.

“We are more prepared than ever before heading into the fire season and today’s announcement is a timely boost for CFA.”

Mr Bourke acknowledged the great work of Steve Warrington who has been Acting Chief Officer for the past three months.

Last modified on Friday, 01 October 2010 14:12
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Comments (5)Add Comment
Greg McIntyre
Welcome back CO Ferguson
written by Greg McIntyre, October 01, 2010
This really sounds like a great appointment.

I sincerely hope that Mr Ferguson will be able to contribute to the resolution of the distressing lack of respect for volunteers shown by the current adminstration and the government, particularly in regard to the approach to the career staff EBA and its offensive disregard for the Volunteer Charter and the needs and rights of volunteers.
Brian Quinn
Big welcome from CFA Vols
written by Brian Quinn, October 01, 2010
Well done Euan Ferguson, we welcome you into the CFA leadership in time for the coming fire season. We are confident that you can lead the CFA in the right direction. No distractions to slow down the implementing of important reform, for the continuing issues that CFA Volunteers are faced within this modern fire fighting force. Politics and Unionism are the main obstacles that will be faced by you, our new Chief Officer, we wish you all our support. Brian Quinn.
Eric Collier
CFS Management Model is better
written by Eric Collier, October 01, 2010
Congratulations Mr Ferguson, and welcome home.
I note that Mr Ferguson was the Chief Officer and CEO of CFS. I believe that this business model would better suit CFA, and would urge the State Government to implement it. CFA was much more focused on its core business of fire prevention and suppression many years ago when a similar management structure was in place. The current model, with an administrative CEO with no knowledge of either firefighting or how to manage a volunteer-based organisation, has proven to be a failure. I support Mr McIntyre's comments - the lack of respect for volunteers, particularly by the current CEO and Chairman, is a grave disappointment and volunteers cannot be expected to put up with this any longer.
Jay Martin
Welcome back to then fold.
written by Jay Martin, October 01, 2010
The appointment of Euan Ferguson appears outwardly to be a positive move as he has a solid reputation and experience with the Authority. It will certainbly be testing times for the CFA over coming months and years and Euan has in front of him a huge challenge to reconnect the heirarchy with the volunteers as a rift is certainly starting to appear and in many instances being reinforced by regional management. The volunteers and permanents can continue to work together effectively but the CFA executive would be wise to refrain from "dismissing" the needs and thoughts of its volunteer workforce. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation and the impact of the UFU is being felt detrimentally in the further reaches of the organisation. Good luck Mr Ferguson, I welcome your constructive and positive influence in the future.. Thank You Jay Martin
Randall Bacon
written by Randall Bacon, October 02, 2010
Welcome back Euan,
Within CFA connect you will find many challenges already posted by the 4000 odd members. Subjects like Training (what and how) leadership of Volunteers,
Communication with volunteers,Radio's,Trucks and other resources. What the VFBV are saying and what the culture of CFA has become. These many challenges will test your resolve. For the sake of the Victorian general public and CFA as a organization. I hope you succeed in your new position and wish you the best of luck.

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