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News

2018/19 Arson Taskforce Launched

By | News

DFES and WA Police joined forces to launch Strike force Vulcan – the arson investigation team – for the 2018/19 bush fire season.

Nearly 40% of all bushfires last season were deemed deliberate or suspicious. Reckless fire lighting can destroy homes, livelihoods, animal’s habitats and endanger lives.

Strikeforce Vulcan is a joint taskforce that investigates arson – we rely on the community to help identify and report bushfire arsonists.

Report suspicious behaviour to Police Crime Stoppers on ‪1800 333 000.

Are You Ready to Join the Career Fire and Rescue Service?

By | News

DFES recently announced that the next recruitment campaign for those wishing to embark on a career with the Career Fire and Rescue Service will open on Tuesday 8th January 2019 and will run until Tuesday 22nd January 2019.

Ifyou’ve always dreamed of being a career firefighter, get working on yourfitness over summer and take a look at the resources available on the DFESwebsite

Shouldyou have any queries that can’t be answered via this page and its associatedattachments, please send them to the Association and we will get the answers onyour behalf – or put you in touch with somebody at DFES who can assist.

Office Closure

By | News

The Association office will close at noon on Friday 21st December 2018. Kaitlyn will return to the office on Tuesday 15th January and Jodie will be back on deck on Thursday 24th January. However, should you have an urgent issue arise during that period, Jodie will be available on her mobile (0427-800-038) or you can email the office and she will get back to you.

On behalf of Association President Paul du Boulay, Association Executive, Kaitlyn and Jodie, we wish you all the very best for Christmas and New Year – here’s hoping the fire season is short and mild (or non-existent, wouldn’t that be something?)

Congratulations to Peter McIndoe for his VERA

By | News

Peter McIndoe from Jurien Bay (current Lieut & ex Captain) his business Jurien Plumbing has won a DFES VERA Award.
Thank you Peter for all you do. Congratulations to all the employers that support our volunteers.
Full list can be found here.

Fuel Cards for VFRS Brigades

By | News

Fuel cards are now being delivered to participating Brigades around Western Australia.  Please note, these cards will only be sent to the Brigade Captain as they are the designated card custodians.

Supporting Resources and Further Information

The DFES website provides information regarding the Scheme. Information can be found in the Volunteering menu. This information includes:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Terms and Conditions
  • WEX Motorpass Web Self Service Quick Start Guide
  • Tally sheet (required to be updated and tabled at the brigade, group or unit AGM)

Click here for more information and links

On 31st October, DFES sent out personalised correspondence to each Brigade Captain regarding the delivery of the Fuel Card packs; if you have not received this correspondence by now, please contact the Volunteer Fuel Card administrator via email vfc@dfes.wa.gov.au or phone 08 9395-9550.

We strongly encourage all VFRS Brigades to avail themselves of this funding.

DFES Chaplaincy Services

By | News

The Association, on behalf of the members of the VFRS, has been in regular contact with DFES regarding the need for a DFES specific Chaplaincy Service and these negotiations have borne fruit.  We are currently, along with other Volunteer Associations, discussing what the future Chaplaincy Service needs to provide to our membership (in conjunction with other Wellness services such as Employer Assistance Program, Wellness Officers etc); and we are hopeful this important service will return in the first quarter of 2019.

Watch this space and we will keep you up to date as much as possible

Online Feedback Session – Volunteer Training

By | News

All volunteers registered on the Volunteer Portal should by now have received an email from DFES asking for assistance in testing e-Academy V2.

The eAcademy Support Team have been working on a new simple and mobile-friendly interface to make it easier for volunteers to apply for Pathways and training courses.

What does this involve?

  • The online feedback session will take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete.
  • The tasks can be performed on a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet, a laptop or a personal computer.
  • The feedback will help us fix any issues and fine tune our communications before we release eAcademy 2.0 to all volunteers and staff.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the eAcademy support team via email eAcademyhelp@dfes.wa.gov.au

DFES Releases its Statement of Strategic Intent

By | News

People the key to building a safer State

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has launched its 2018 Statement of Strategic Intent. The document includes the addition of a fifth strategic direction: A United Organisation with a Supportive and Balanced Culture.

This new area of focus gives recognition to the fact that people hold the key to building an effective emergency management service.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said that some of the key initiatives to be introduced under the new direction include frameworks to ensure that volunteers are supported and better involved in planning, and training for DFES personnel on working better with volunteers including training as part of the induction for new staff.

“To build this culture we need to begin from a position of mutual understanding, respect and trust. We need to foster an environment where we can respectfully challenge each other and collaborate together,” Commissioner Klemm said.

“We appreciate that better connections and greater involvement from volunteers and stakeholders are needed in shaping how we do things, and recognise that there are opportunities to improve.”

Other initiatives to be introduced include a volunteer charter, a welcome pack for new volunteers, a volunteer engagement toolkit for staff, and an increased volunteer focus on the DFES website.

You can read more about the Statement of Strategic Intent and the fifth strategic direction on the DFES Volunteer Portal here. This new focus will be incorporated into DFES’ refreshed strategic plan, which is currently being reviewed

LATE NEWS – 2018 VFRSAWA DFES Annual State Junior Championships

By | News

The 2018 Annual State Junior Championships will be held at Gil Frazer Reserve, North Fremantle (Cnr John and Johanna Streets – the home of the North Fremantle Sporting Clubs) on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November 2018.

24 Sub-Junior and 19 Junior teams from 14 Brigades (including Corio VFB from Victoria) will compete in a number of events to test their skills and teamwork against each other.  It is always a great event and we encourage everybody to come along and enjoy themselves.

The RAC Helicopter experience (their virtual reality simulation of Rescue 651) will be at the Reserve on Saturday and the North Fremantle Sporting Clubs canteen will be open all weekend.2018 VFRSAWA State Junior Championships – Program – Final

Looking forward to seeing everybody there!

Click2018 VFRSAWA State Junior Championships – Program – Final here for the program

Response to Article in AVBFB Newsletter

By | Media Release, News

We have received a few phone calls from our members following an article that appeared in the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) newsletter recently and we thought it timely to clarify this to our members.

We thank the AVBFB for highlighting some errors in the recently released Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) Annual Report; however, in the interests of accuracy, we would like to correct a few errors and misconceptions put forward in their article.

Our association changed its name from Western Australian Volunteer Fire Brigades Association in 1998 following the change in our Service name to the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS). Our current name – Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services Association of WA (Inc) – was resolved at our AGM in September 2017.

There are currently 94 VFRS Brigades in Western Australia for whom DFES has direct responsibility – plus an additional 5 private Brigades that operate under MOU with mining companies. 90 of these Brigades (including all 5 private Brigades, plus Tammin Volunteer Fire & Emergency Service) are financial members of the VFRSA.

It should also be noted that the VFRS are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of a year – dealing with not only landscape fires, but road crash rescue, structural fires and hazardous material incidents. In addition, as an integral part of their communities, they visit local schools, nursing homes and the like to reinforce fire safety messages – as well as assisting with reducing fire risks in their communities. In 2017/18 VFRS Brigades attended 5,622 incidents – including 2,318 fires and 972 rescues.

We believe it is disingenuous of the AVBFB to compare the funding of our Associations, given our Brigades are the responsibility of DFES, while Bush Fire Brigades are owned and operated by local government – a point they have been very vocal in supporting. Logically, the AVBFB should be seeking further support from local governments, over and above the generous grant currently received from the State.

It should be noted that our Association – in the interests of complete transparency – complies with both the spirit and intent of Associations Incorporation Act 2015; specifically, with regards to keeping lists of members and providing information to members when requested. This also includes circulating the minutes of each Executive meeting within 14 days of the meeting.The funding amounts listed in the DFES Annual Report are also misleading – the sum of $400,000 noted as being provided to our Association comprises an administration grant of $236,000 – the balance is a budget limit for the organisation and management of our VFRS competitions that is not always fully utilised. These competitions, both Junior and Senior, are an important feature of volunteer attraction and retention for DFES.

Brigades should by now have received their copy of the Association’s annual report and if you or your members have any queries with regards to the information contained within it, please contact the Association office.