Volunteer Firefighters Gain National Voice
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
An agreement was signed on April 4, 2014 for mutual understanding, co-operation and collaboration between the Council of Australian Volunteer Fire Associations (CAVFA) and the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC).
Signed in front of representatives from all 11 Australian states and territories volunteer fire associations, the Memorandum of Understanding will provide fire fighters a united voice in discussion and negotiations with AFAC.
CAVFA Chairman Brian McKinlay said the Memorandum of Understanding ensured the needs and concerns of volunteers will have a greater input in AFAC matters that may have significant impact on them.
'This agreement is all about representation for our Members. CAVFA represents more than 250,000 volunteer fire fighters and operational support volunteers across Australia.
When relating to matters that have direct impact on volunteers, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council will now discuss and seek input from the Council of Australian Volunteer Fire Associations.'
Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) President, Mike Garrahy agreed the arrangement would have many benefits given the mutual interest and combined expertise the councils possess, 'This is the first step in ensuring that Queensland's 34,000 volunteer fire fighters voice is heard when decisions are made on the national stage '.
To support this commitment, the AFAC will ensure its discussions on matters that affect volunteers are informed by volunteer input. To support this, the CAVFA will encourage members share in these discussions to address current and emerging challenges facing volunteers in the fire and emergency services today and into the future.
The over-riding aim of CAVFA is to assist volunteer fire fighters and operational support volunteers to support and protect their communities and the diverse environments across Australia.
Association Members are:
- ACT Volunteer Brigades Association;
- Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades of WA (AVBFB);
- NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA);
- NT Bushfire Volunteers Association;
- Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ);
- Queensland Auxiliary Firefighters Association (QAFA);
- SA Country Fire Service Volunteers Association (CFSVA);
- Tasmanian Retained Volunteer Firefighters Association (TRVFA);
- Tasmanian Volunteer Fire Brigades Association (TVFBA);
- Volunteer Fire Brigades of Victoria (VFBV); and
- WA Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services Association (WA VFRSA).
Picture above: Members of CAVFA with Stuart Ellis AM AFAC CEO