Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers on this page will be updated as more information becomes known.

FAQs as at 28 June 2017

More Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs as at 28 June 2017 - Answers

What happens to brigade assets at integrated stations that transfer to FRV?

The legislative process will include a mechanism for the Minister to make a determination to transfer assets from CFA to FRV, to ensure that FRV has the infrastructure and appliances it needs from day one to fulfil its statutory functions.

CFA is required to prepare an asset allocation statement to guide the Minister's determination. It will be subject to discussions between brigade management teams and CFA's Chief Officer, and consultation with the VFBV. It will also be subject to discussions between CFA's Chief Officer and the FRV Commissioner, to ensure that both organisations have the tools, facilities and appliances to safely operate and provide vital community support.

When will consultation with CFA staff commence about the changes?

We are continuing to work through what the Victorian Government’s announcement means across CFA, and are also waiting for the legislation to be considered in the Victorian Parliament.

On 21 June, the legislation to reform Victoria's fire services was referred to a select committee for an advisory report.

This process will provide an opportunity for additional community engagement on aspects of the government’s proposed reforms. CFA welcomes this opportunity to continue to engage and consult with all Victorians. During this period, CFA will also continue to support and engage meaningfully with all staff and volunteers.

Since the Government's 19 May announcement regarding the proposed reforms, the Board Chair and Executive have briefed staff at numerous CFA sites and also shared available material across CFA’s network.

As the legislation progresses and more information is known, the CFA Executive will continue to engage with staff and our volunteers and work together in the best interests of the Victorian community to reform our fire services.

When will consultation with CFA volunteers commence about the changes?

Immediately following Government's announcement the CFA wrote to Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria and other key stakeholders to commence the consultation process.

It is CFA's intention that CFA, representative bodies, staff and volunteers, can mutually consider the implications of the legislation and work together in the best interests of the Victorian community to reform our fire services.

What does better volunteer training and more brigade support look like? There are no details in the public information.

Government has committed to funding new brigade-based training and additional training coordinators focused on local needs, in recognition of calls from volunteers for more flexible and locally delivered training options.

The $56.2 million CFA Support Fund will strengthen volunteer recruitment, training, brigade support and leadership. Volunteers, support staff and representative bodies will be consulted on the implementation of these reforms, including the CFA Support Fund.

What governance arrangements will be put in place to determine where the $100 million in funding will be spent?

Volunteers, support staff and representative bodies will be consulted on the implementation of these reforms and appropriate governance arrangements will be established to deliver on Government investment in Victoria’s fire services.

Will all of the $44 million promised for buildings and equipment be allocated only to Integrated Brigades? How much will be available to the 1,185 volunteer only brigades?

The $44 million funding boost will include any upgrades required at stations where CFA volunteers and FRV services are co-located, as well as upgrades and rebuilding of volunteer stations across the state.

Presumptive rights for firefighters - why is the criteria for volunteer firefighters different to paid firefighters?

The Victorian Government has provided equal access to presumptive legislation to both volunteer and career firefighters.

In addition to serving the requisite qualifying period, volunteer firefighters will also need to demonstrate that they have attended fires to the extent reasonably necessary to fulfil the purpose of their service as a firefighter. An expert committee will provide advice to WorkSafe Victoria to help establish whether volunteer firefighters have attended a reasonable number of fires.

Do you have more information on how the announced diversity targets will be met?

CFA is committed to embracing and encouraging diversity among its members across Victoria. We believe a diverse and inclusive workplace brings out the best in our people and helps us to provide a better service to Victorian communities.

CFA continues to focus on increasing the number of women amongst its career firefighter ranks and actively encourages women to apply. The career recruitment program will prioritise the new diversity targets and CFA will also commit to increasing brigade leadership roles for women over the next four years.

Will current Integrated Officers in Charge have a choice concerning roles post the transition (Operations Officer seconded back to CFA to work with Volunteer Brigades or as an Officer in Charge/Commander of a FRV Brigade)?

The Bill amends the CFA Act to recognise CFA as a volunteer firefighting, community based agency, supported by paid staff. This includes professional, technical and administrative staff.

All operational staff from CFA will move over time to FRV. A select group, including Operations Officers and Managers but not those performing a brigade OIC role, will be seconded back to CFA under the order and control of the CFA Chief Officer as per Section 27 of the CFA Act 1958. The CFA Chief Officer will work closely with the FRV Commissioner to ensure the appropriate capabilities are identified and deployed.

The HR processes to facilitate the recruitment, selection and movement of personnel within FRV and the associated secondment program have not yet been determined.

What is happening with career firefighter recruitment? Will the respective CFA and MFB programs continue or will a consolidated FRV program commence soon?

As the legislation is being considered by the Victorian Parliament, we are continuing to work through what the Victorian Government’s announcement means for our fire services.

The design of the career firefighter recruitment program for the new FRV will be one of a range of transitional activities required to support the implementation of these reforms.

Please refer to CFA's career firefighting page for updates on when the next recruitment round will open.

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More Frequently Asked Questions - Answers

How will this change affect CFA volunteers?

Volunteers at CFA's 1,220 volunteer brigades will continue to serve their local communities and provide vital surge support. 

Will CFA volunteer firefighters continue to wear CFA uniforms?

Yes.

Will CFA volunteers continue to come under the command of the CFA Chief Officer?

Yes.

Is there additional money for CFA in this package?

Yes. A $56.2 million CFA Support Fund is part of the package for improved training, increased brigade support and improved health, safety and wellbeing. As well as this, Victoria’s emergency services will also have the very best facilities and equipment, with the establishment of a new Emergency Services Infrastructure Authority. One of the first tasks for the new authority will be to work with the CFA on delivering a new $44 million station building program.

Will there be any loss of jobs?

No. Our firefighters, be they career or volunteers, along with supporting staff, are critical to keeping the Victorian community safe. All existing MFB and CFA career firefighters will transition into Fire Rescue Victoria and 450 new firefighters are being recruited. Some support and corporate staff will transfer to Fire Rescue Victoria while some will move to deliver projects at the infrastructure authority. The amount of assistance for volunteers at CFA will be increased, with more training, administration and brigade support staff.

How will these changes affect fire trucks attending an emergency?

The work of career and volunteer firefighters will continue on the ground to ensure community safety. FRV, CFA and all of Victoria’s emergency services will work together to respond to emergencies. The changes in the Fire Services Statement will ensure that Victorians receive a world class fire service no matter where they live.

What happens to CFA volunteers at the 35 integrated stations?

Tailored support will be provided for volunteers at the 35 integrated stations where career firefighters will transfer to Fire Rescue Victoria. The Government and CFA will work with volunteers in the 35 integrated stations to identify the best solution of each volunteer and each brigade.

Who runs the fire ground – in Fire Rescue Victoria areas and/or in CFA areas? Will career staff answer to volunteers?

Control agency arrangements will not change. The first arriving officer becomes the Incident Controller, and any changes to this are in accordance with the operating procedures on transfer of control that apply across all of our emergency services.

Will Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) firefighters who are seconded to the CFA report to the Chief Officer and wear CFA uniforms?

Yes.

Will presumptive rights be available to all firefighters?

The presumptive rights compensation scheme will cover all Victorian career and volunteer firefighters.

How can I become a CFA volunteer?

The CFA will continue to encourage and welcome new volunteers, because we want to strengthen the CFA. People interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter with the CFA should visit their local brigade, or go online to www.cfa.vic.gov.au for further details.

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