Message from Commissioner
Thursday, 15 Jan 2015
To all members of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services,
Firstly I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year and a prosperous and safe 2015. I would also like to thank all the staff and volunteers who spent time away from their families working over the holiday period. Your service to the community is greatly appreciated.
I have very much enjoyed my introduction to QFES and my first days in the role have only reinforced my view that QFES is a great organisation which enjoys strong support from the community. I have engaged with a number of staff and have admired their dedication to keeping Queenslanders safe.
As I have previously stated the Independent Review into QFES released late last year identified a number of issues which have the potential to damage the hard earned confidence of the community in QFES. It’s my job to review and amend QFES policies and procedures to ensure there is no repeat of the circumstances which led to the review. I look forward to your support and cooperation to get this work done.
While the independent report was triggered by one incident its findings must be seriously considered by all QFES staff and volunteers. The fact that Ms Margaret Allison received further complaints during her review reflects the need for all of us to consider what changes are required to make QFES a modern and inclusive organisation.
I encourage anyone who is subjected to any form of discrimination, harassment or workplace bullying to immediately report it. For those who wish to inflict these abuses on colleagues my message is that you have no place in a modern QFES.
The work to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place will happen quickly to ensure that QFES is seen as a responsive organisation which tackles its issues head on. Again I look forward to your cooperation in making this happen.
This year will also see the continuation of the ongoing reform work which has been conducted out of the Police and Community Safety Review and the Malone Review into the Rural Fire Service Queensland. All of this will ensure that QFES can continue as a modern and efficient organisation focussed on frontline services and support of our volunteers.
Finally I plan to get out to meet as many staff and volunteers as I can starting from the week of the 19th of January. I’d like to hear your views on what we can all do to make this great organisation even better. I look forward to these discussions.
Katarina Carroll APM
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services