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VFRS-Specific Results from the National Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey

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The National Fire Service Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey was offered to volunteers from fire services from across Australia for the third time in 2018.

Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services Association of WA (VFRSA) was pleased to participate again in the wider survey and offer the survey to Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) volunteers for a third year.

The results of the survey for the volunteers who responded from VFRS are consistent with the results nationally from across participating fire service volunteers.

For VFRS volunteers the key outcomes were:

  • Volunteers feel that there is not enough access to, or flexibility of training offered to volunteers by Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
  • The most important issues to volunteers are equality and diversity and a welcoming culture, and DFES is performing well in these areas.
  • Volunteers feel the time they devote to DFES is productive and worthwhile.
  • Volunteers do not feel that they are consulted or involved in decision making at corporate levels of DFES.
  • Management at brigade level needs some skill development in the areas of conflict resolution and dealing with human resource matters.
  • Brigades are experiencing difficulties in recruiting and retaining younger people as volunteers

The National Fire Service Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey measures the Gap between what volunteers expect, and how close or far these expectations are from being met.

What is being done well?

Acceptance of diversity, equal opportunity had the smallest gaps between volunteer expectations and performance of DFES.

DFES volunteers also feel that the time they devote to DFES is productive and worthwhile.

89% of the respondents to the survey also indicated that they would continue in their volunteer role with VFRS and 88% would recommend becoming a VFRS volunteer to people they know. This goes alongside 86% of respondents indicating that they were satisfied with their role as a VFRS volunteer.

What needs to improve?

One of the biggest gaps, identified as needing immediate attention, relates to DFES providing enough training opportunities in formats, at times and at locations that make it easy for volunteers to participate. Volunteers also feel that DFES could provide more training in brigade management and human resources for brigade leaders.

Volunteers also feel that they are not effectively consulted and involved in decision making at the corporate levels of DFES.

The number of respondents indicating that they were satisfied with their volunteer role has decreased to 86% (was 92% in 2017) and only 76% were satisfied with the way volunteers are treated by DFES.

Thank you to all VFRS members who participated in the survey.

If you would like to read more, please click the link below:

Results of the National Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey

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The 2018 Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey attracted responses from 5,939 fire service volunteers from across Australia, except South Australia. It gives leaders and decision-makers clear feedback, direct from volunteers, about how those settings and arrangements are impacting their welfare and efficiency. This should help focus discussions about priorities and actions needed to address volunteer concerns.

The survey is one of the biggest volunteer-based emergency services welfare and efficiency surveys in Australia. As such it plays an important role to give a voice to volunteer views.

Volunteer Satisfaction:

  • 80% of respondents indicated they are satisfied with their volunteer role
  • 85% of respondents indicated they intend to continue in their volunteer role
  • 81% would recommend being a fire service volunteer to others

By contrast, the average across the sector for volunteers being satisfied with how they are treated by their agency was at a low 65%.

To access the report, click the link below:

Forty Winks Discount for VFRS Members

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Forty Winks have reached out with this generous ongoing offer of 30% off the RRP store wide, or an extra 10% off any sale price in store (excluding everyday low price mattresses) for VFRS members.

Enjoy a better sleep!

Resignation of Executive Officer Jodie Neuzerling

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Hello All

It is with regret that I advise you all of my resignation as Executive Officer of the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services Association.

When I commenced with the Association as Office Administrator in April 2009, I could not have imagined the journey I would take over the next ten years – I certainly never considered that I would spend three years as the Executive Officer, representing the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, its Brigades and more importantly the amazing volunteers who make up the Service.  I have sincerely tried to represent you all to the very best of my ability (whilst hoping that my best was enough) to ensure that you are appropriately trained, equipped and protected – both in an operational and legislative sense.

My time with the Association has also seen significant change – the creation of DFES and three significant major incident reviews (two by Mr Keelty and the other by Mr Ferguson) being the most obvious.  The challenges we have faced since the release of the Ferguson Review have been both operational and in a sense spiritual – and the survival of the VFRS as a Service will rely on the strong will of all who are members.

At this stage, my final date is a little up in the air and will depend on when the individual chosen to replace me can commence.  I do not have another role to move into and thus will be providing a handover of up to four weeks.  We will advertise next week (via Seek, our website and our Facebook page), so if you know of anybody you feel would make a great Executive Officer, please let them know to keep a look out.

I have made met some outstanding people (also some weird, but wonderful ones as well as some simply weird ones), made what I hope will be lifelong friendships and enjoyed almost every minute of my time in the Association. 

I look forward to seeing as many of you at the WA FES Conference (6 to 8 September) as I can; and I will advise my finishing date as soon as it is known.

Thank you for your support over the past ten years, it has been greatly appreciated and I will miss you.

Regards

Jodie

Emergency Services Volunteer Fuel Card Scheme Applications Now Open

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The online application form for the fuel card is now available through the DFES website. The application period commenced on the 18 June 2019 and closes on Monday 15 July 2019.  We anticipate that the fuel cards will be sent out mid August 2019.

It is important to note that applications will only be accepted by the officers-in-charge of a BGU as they will be the designated card custodians. 

The DFES website provides information regarding the Scheme located under the Volunteering section. This information includes:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Terms and Conditions
  • WEX Motorpass Web Self Service Quick Start Guide
  • Tally sheet 
  • Online application form

Discounted Gym Membership with Anytime Fitness

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Anytime Fitness has partnered with DFES to offer 20% off ongoing membership and no joining fee for WA DFES Emergency Service Volunteers.

To claim, simply head to anytimefitness.com.au/wa and enter the promo code DFES2019.

Happy gyming!

WAFES 2019

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Nominations for attendance at WAFES 2019 are now open!

To register and to find out more information, visit https://www.wafesconference.com.au/. You will also be able to register for the awards night at the same time. Please note that this year, DFES have introduced some terms and conditions, covering things such as travel reimbursements, use of photos for social media, etc. Please make sure you read these, and if you have any questions, let us know.

Registration closes on the 22nd July 2019 for Regional delegates, and on the 26th August 2019 for Metro delegates. Metro delegates please note that if you live LESS than 50km from the Perth Train Station, you will not be eligible to receive reimbursement of travel costs or accommodation. You should also note that places on the Friday tours are strictly limited – so if you want to get a spot on a tour, you’ll need to register as soon as possible.  If you have been on a particular tour in the past, your tour registration may be rejected to allow somebody who has not attended that tour to attend this year.  Please be mindful of this.

A reminder that places are available for two people from each Brigade, with a Captain, Secretary, or Treasurer attending to vote at the AGM. All attendees will be expected to attend the AGM.

NOTE:  you can change the name of the individuals attending up until the Friday before the Conference (30th August); however, if you register and do not attend (or skip some of the sessions to attend other events) you may be asked to justify why you should not be invoiced to reimburse DFES for the costs associated (such as flights and/or accommodation).  You will also be blacklisted from attending future Conferences.

Look forward to seeing you there!

No Internet!

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The Association Office is currently without internet access, which affects our ability to access hard-drives, print, and of course answer emails. The good news is the phones are still working.

Please bear with us while this problem is sorted out.

Nominations now open for the 2019 Firefighting Awards!

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These awards honour the outstanding achievements of individuals and brigades who have shown exceptional dedication to duty.

We’ve had some large fires this summer, and this is your chance to acknowledge the incredible work and extraordinary contributions of our State’s volunteer and career firefighters