Experience supports an independent Rural Fire Service for WA

The following letter supportive of Euan Ferguson’s recommendation for an independent Rural Fire Service was sent to the Association by Leonard Carter AFSM.EFO.BSc, retired Group Captain with the NSW Rural Fire Service. Leonard’s brief letter explains the background to the formation of the NSW Rural Fire Service that has parallels to our current situation in WA. __________________________________________________________________________________________  …

Finalists announced for Firefighting Awards 2016

The 2016 Firefighting Awards honour the achievements of fire and emergency services individuals and groups who have demonstrated dedication to duty beyond expectations. The Association congratulates all nominated finalists and wishes best of luck to the VBFB contenders. The finalists are:   Youth Achievement Award Brandon McKinlay – Metropolitan VFRS Struan Graham – Wanneroo Central…

WA volunteer bush firefighters will only support rural fire service independent of Department of Fire and Emergency Services

The WA Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades says a rural fire service would only work if it operated as a separate entity to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) because of cultural differences. The establishment of a rural fire service was one of the main recommendations of an inquiry into January’s Yarloop/Waroona…

CFA Crisis: Chief fire officer Joe Buffone quits

The chief fire officer of Victoria’s Country Fire Authority has become the latest victim of Premier Daniel Andrews workplace deal with the United Firefighters Union. CFA chief officer Joe Buffone resigned after his position became “untenable.” As first reported by The Age there had been significant pressure on Mr Buffone to endorse a new deal with the union, something he…

Emergency Management Amendment Bill 2016 passes Lower House with support from all sides

The Emergency Management Amendment Bill 2016 passed through the Legislative Assembly with support from all political parties.  The Bill’s purposes include the sensible streamlining of the process for declaring an emergency situation, redefining the term hazard for emergency purposes and allocating to the State Emergency Management Committee the task of reporting to the Minister on…

Petition: Create an independently funded and administered Rural Fire Service in Western Australia

A petition in support of an independent Rural Fire Service has been started by Lance Duivenbode. Below is Lance’s message and you can add your name to his petition through the following link https://www.change.org/p/premier-colin-barnett-create-an-independently-funded-and-administered-country-fire-bush-fire-service . This is an important issue for all volunteer bush fire fighters so we encourage volunteers and the community at large…

Association congratulates Euan Ferguson on his candid report

The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades welcomes the report and findings of the Ferguson Inquiry into the Waroona Fires. The Association’s Executive Committee Members, President Dave Gossage AFSM, Vice President Phil Penny, Secretary John Mangini and Treasurer Lorraine Webster were at the community meeting in Harvey for the public release of the Report. A noticeable presence of…

What went wrong in Yarloop: reports released on devastating bushfire

The current system for managing bushfire in WA is “failing citizens and the Government”, according to the official report into January’s Yarloop-Waroona bushfire. The report, titled Reframing Rural Fire Management, has been tabled in Parliament by Premier Colin Barnett this morning. In his introduction to the report special inquirer Euan Ferguson wrote witnesses had “variously…

Farmers fired up for reforms

The State Government doesn’t know it yet. But the long-awaited Ferguson report into the disastrous Yarloop fires earlier this year, released to the public today by Premier Colin Barnett at Harvey, will be the oxygen farmers require to push for major reforms to control country bush fires. There is already a queue forming to speak…

AFAC16 Youth Scholarship Opportunity

Nominations are now invited for the inaugural AFAC Conference Youth Scholarship. The objective of the scholarship to recognise and support the efforts of young individuals (aged 18-30 years) who actively participate and contribute to an AFAC member agency and would benefit from the professional development opportunity of attending AFAC16. Nominations are restricted to one per…

Volunteer Pathways Advisory Groups Combined Meeting (VPAG, VFPAG and VESPAG)

Representatives from the various emergency services associations gathered last Saturday for their first meeting of the Volunteer Pathways Advisory Group (VPAG). They were joined as invited guests at the meeting by many of the Volunteer Fire Pathways Advisory Group (VFPAG) and the Volunteer Emergency Services Pathways Advisory Group (VESPAG). This was a one-off combined meeting…

Dave and Phil’s Pilbara tour

The Association’s President Dave Gossage AFSM and Vice President Phil Penny spent several days this week on a tour of volunteer bushfire brigades and local governments in the Pilbara. They hit the road from the Paraburdoo Airport through to Tom Price, meeting along the way with volunteers, shire councils and staff, other government agency personnel…