Letter to the editor
Better prepared than ever
As we enter another fire season, the Country Fire Authority is better prepared, equipped and resourced than ever before.
CFA is a team and family, made up of over 58,000 volunteers and 1600 staff who share an enormous duty and privilege in protecting the community.
Our volunteers deliver the highest levels of committed, professional service. A recently announced $44.5 million package to support volunteers, including funding for 2000 additional emergency pagers, upgrading of regional training grounds and funds to employ 64 volunteer support officers to support volunteer brigades, will build on that service.
CFA services Melbourne’s growth corridor and all of regional Victoria. To meet the growing demand, we need additional paid firefighters to support the hard work of our volunteers. Additional paid firefighters will be phased out in just over six years.
This will not be at the expense of funding or support for volunteers and we expect significant growth in volunteer numbers, especially in the growth corridors, as our career force also grows.
Structural Personal Protective Clothing is currently being distributed across more than 500 eligible brigades and by June 2011, about 15,000 units will have been delivered for appropriately qualified firefighters. This will meet CFA needs for attending structural fires such as building and factories.
Funding for training, skills maintenance, uniforms and equipment has risen more than 150 per cent in the past three years. CFA is also increasing its investment in training through a new area dedicated to operational training and volunteerism.
I would like to thank CFA members for their hardwork and dedication. We value our volunteers and recognise the critical role they play in protecting Victorians, we would not exist without them.
With a new chief officer, Euan Ferguson, joining us in November, the CFA will be further strengthened and it is important that we continue to stand together and protect our communities.
Acting chief officer
Country Fire Authority