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Leaked letter proves uncertainty for CFA volunteers

A leaked letter from the Chief Fire Officer has revealed confusion as to which fire trucks CFA volunteers would be able to drive under Daniel Andrews’ new Fire Rescue Victoria model.

In the letter sent to brigades, the Chief Fire Officer also outlined concerns of where fire trucks would be stationed following the July 1 change over.

These changes set out by the CEO highlights the further marginalisation and uncertainty for current CFA volunteers, which could see the future disbanding of CFA volunteers in co-location with FRV.

Concerningly, the letter casts doubt on how CFA volunteer brigades can ‘remain effective and sustainable over the long-term’.

Further changes include:

  • Separate CFA (volunteer) and FRV (paid) brigades co-located in the one venue;

  • Staffed/crewed appliances, formerly used by CFA staff, re-allocated to FRV and staff;

  • CFA brigades will not have a primary response area. They will simply act as ‘support brigades’ to FRV;

  • CEO cannot confirm the facilities required for volunteers at the co-location nor the appropriate Brigade Classification, Brigades Operation Skills profiles without a primary area;

The letter highlights the great uncertainty being experienced by CFA volunteers, with a number of important operational points still to be determined, including the level of support to be given to brigades during the transition.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brad Battin:

“This letter simply highlights the destruction of the CFA by Daniel Andrews’ secret deal with the UFU.

“CFA volunteers play an extremely important role in ensuring the safety of their community. This letter shows they are being forced from their roles in integrated stations by the unhealthy alliance the Premier has with Peter Marshall.

“Daniel Andrews must ensure the rights of CFA volunteers continue to be upheld and integrated with the introduction of FRV on July 1.

“Community safety will be put at risk if volunteers at co-located stations continue to be stripped of responsibility. The Premier and the UFU will have to be prepared to wear the consequences.”

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