The VFFA has received numerous complaints from volunteers who are bullied, harassed and pushed aside when they dare to speak out against issues that contradict the direction of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS). In more recent times, The NSW RFS has openly targeted RFS Brigades and individuals that have openly supported the VFFA.
The VFFA is dedicated to ensuring that ALL volunteers (not limited to VFFA members) are provided with a voice. The VFFA respects that all persons (RFSA members, all volunteers and staff) deserve an opportunity to provide input into the future direction of the NSW RFS.
The VFFA conducted a survey of volunteers over a period of 9 months (21st May 2016 to 6th March 2017) with the following results:
Question 1: Are you a NSW RFS Volunteer Firefighter?
Question 2: In your opinion, have volunteers lost control of local firefighting?
Question 3: Have you witnessed or experienced this “loss of control” on the fire ground?
Question 4: In your opinion, is bullying and harassment going on in the NSW RFS?
Question 5: Have you been directly impacted by bullying within the RFS?
Question 6: Have we lost experienced and long standing volunteers as a result of the bullying?
Bullying is most definitely happening on a large scale. It is endemic in the RFS. The Senate Committee has only touched the top of the iceberg. The level of coercion and bullying stems from the small group of stations and even police officers in the same area have threatened and coerced and bullied the partner of an RFS member who happens to be the partner of my eldest daughter. These are the facts. The situation is totally out of hand and is getting worse. The rot appears to stem from the top down and particularly the paid upper management from what I observe.