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MAY 2016 Edition is available now....
Young Members Forum
In 2020, it’s anticipated that almost half CFA’s membership will be aged over 55 years. For CFA to continue to provide emergency services across Victoria, it is imperative that it engage the energies, the idealism and the fresh perspective of youth in our endeavours to ensure that we have sustainable volunteers for the future.
CFA already engages thousands of young people as members as well as in a number of programs specifically targeted at young people such as the Junior Volunteer Development Program, Advance and VCAL programs at secondary school level, Latrobe University’s Aspire, CFA Challenge and a number of local and regionally-based initiatives.
There are many ways we can better target new young people, but first we need to better engage with our current young members. With 10,000-plus current 11-30 year old members it’s important we create initiatives that better engage, develop and support them, and create opportunities for them to have a voice in the organisation. CFA will begin this process by holding the Young Members Forum on 21 May at Victoria University in Melbourne that will bring together 150 plus members aged 18-30 years old from over 125 brigades from all regions of the State. The forum is a first-time event that will also see CFA invite young members from St John, Red Cross, SES and Ambulance Victoria to come together to discuss the future of volunteerism, culture and recruitment in the emergency services, with the assumption that the challenges and opportunities for young members in other EMV agencies will have many commonalities. In partnership with VFBV, it will also be an opportunity to introduce young people to the VFBV Multiagency Youth Network, a new initiative that will see greater participation from young members in district and state councils as well as the broader EMV network. The development of a new consultative forum event for young members of both CFA and other agencies represents the first step in a structured long-term engagement strategy. Outcomes and photographs from the forum will be included in the next edition.
Welcome to the website of ‘The Fireman’, the longest running publication
within Victoria’s country fire service.
A monthly publication, ‘The Fireman’ is fully supported by Country Fire Authority and is the official publication of Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria and CFA State Rescue Association and supported by CFA.
HOSE TESTING TRAILER IMPROVES SAFETY
PENINSULA GROUP HAS PUT INTO SERVICE a new hose testing trailer that allows all brigades in the Group access to test hoses to the required standard without the need to connect to a fire appliance. The trailer improves safety for firefighters.
Commissioned in late 2015 the trailer has developed from a project originally headed by Wodonga Brigade which identified a need for such equipment after a blown hose caused a serious injury to a Station Officer whilst testing hose at a fire station. The Wodonga Brigade project team with the aid of local company Bertazzo Engineered developed a fixed manifold system powered by an electric pump to test hoses at the station. The next stage of the development was identified by SSO Neil Schlipalius (Rosebud) who saw a need for all brigades to have access to such equipment so as hoses could be tested to CFA standard regardless of what appliance was at the brigade.
This led to talks with Bertazzo Engineered which developed a custom made trailer fabricated from high grade aluminium checker plate with a manifold system capable of testing six CFA service hoses at a time to either 1000 or 1400kpa. The trailer was given a four month trial period with brigades from Peninsula Group able to use the unit and provide feedback as to any improvements prior to going back to Wodonga for final fit out.
The result has been a very useful piece of equipment that improves firefighter safety when testing hoses as the unit limits the amount of flow supplied to the hoses and allows for a very controlled pressure rise when testing hoses. Specifications are: • 8’ x 5’ Galvanised frame trailer fabricated with high grade aluminium checker plate tray and box sectional storage for hoses • six hose testing manifold with Storz couplings and adaptors for 64mm and 38mm hose • three x full length aluminium tool boxes down one side with lockable lids • hose testing unit fitted with Grundfos pump and associated valve assembly
• LED lighting to testing area, manifold and lockers
The trailer has become a great asset to brigades within Peninsula Group that are able to loan the unit from its base at Rosebud Fire Station for up to two weeks at a time and conduct annual testing of hoses at their own brigade or use the unit when large fires result in a lot of hoses that require testing.
The project has been gratefully supported by the Rye/Rosebud/Dromana Bendigo Bank branch which saw the need for this valuable piece of equipment that improves firefighter safety. Peninsula Group is very appreciative of its support.
ELAINE YOUNGSTERS WIN AWARD
Five young members of Elaine Fire Brigade have been recognised for their professionalism while responding to the Scotsburn fire in December 2015.
Natasha Ford (16), Brady Dunne (16), Anthony Young (17), Tristan Mair (17) and Matthew Wetherall (21) were among 500 CFA members who fought the blaze. The group were recognised at the recent Moorabool Shire Council’s youth awards winning the community contribution category.
In announcing them as winners Mayor Allan Comrie said: “They showed exceptional maturity and teamwork during the Scotsburn fires. The risk they took in order to protect their community, their ability to put their training into practice, to reduce risk to themselves and their community, and their ability to work as a team and communicate effectively, are the reason they have been chosen as very worthy winners.”
The five had completed minimum skills just a month before the Scotsburn fire. Natasha’s father Russell was one of their operational skills trainers. He said when the Scotsburn jobs started coming in: “The kids were excellent. They were calm and well-trained. They really knew what to do. They are very dedicated and really work as a team. It’s a real tribute to Elaine Brigade.”
When the pager went off Brady ran to the station because he is too young to drive by himself. Later he, Matthew and some other Elaine members had to use their burn over drills because of fast moving fire and thick smoke. That same day Natasha used her new training to help save her own home. On Christmas Day she and her father spent 10 hours fighting fires. Russell Ford hopes the award motivates other young people to help bolster CFA’s ranks. “It’s great to be recognised. One of the big problems is getting new members to join, so to be recognised like this is terrific.”
fighters up to date on developments within the organisation. It has also given brigades and
firefighters an opportunity to contribute items and make comments on a wide range of