On June 7 2020 a media release was issued by President Mr. Holton with a recommendation that a RFS Volunteer Benevolent Fund be set up from the $51M raised by Celeste Barber. In the recent Commissioner’s Update Sep 21 one of the new priorities was to establish the Benevolent Fund to assist the volunteer firefighters and their families. It is good to see an initiative of the VFFA for RFS volunteer members being followed up.
AGM 2021 Held Over
VFFA 2021 AGM held over until Sat 6 August 2022.
Recognition of your Service
My medal proposal is different, in that everyone qualifies. Not everyone qualifies for the National Medal, or the National Emergency Medal, and it represents a certain event or period in time similar to a military campaign or General Service Medal. There is no Long Service Good Conduct Medal available to you either. My proposal is a medal that represents a gift to you from your nation that recognizes your services and commitment to the Australian community. It doesn’t just recognize your service on the fire ground it represents all those days and weeks of training beforehand, committee meetings and maintenance days and fund raisers. Not to mention the other emergencies you are required to attend like car accidents. It represents the gratitude we feel as a nation for all that time you are required to spend away from your families and those special days you miss.
The Victim Summaries
The Victim summaries contained in this document are from volunteers and staff who have bravely contacted the author to express their destressing and desperate plights. What is clear in every case is that the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) knowing showed an arogenate disregard of its duty of care as an employer. It, the RFS, fosters a culture where reports of Bullying, Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct were ignored, supressed or dismissed. Complaints and grievances are systematically lost and investigations delayed and incompetently mishandled to the point complainants simply give up and leave the service. Retaliation is a common occurrence for victims of the RFS. It is common for a complainant to be the subject of a new counter complaint especially when the original complaint is about a Captain or other senior member of their Brigade. Dog Whistling and Gaslighting are common place and go unchecked even in the presence of senior RFS staff.
Helicopters and Drones in prescribed burning
Bushfires are more difficult to put out in long unburnt, heavy fuels. Prescribed burning is important in reducing fuel loads and is undertaken periodically, is a milder burn, aiming to minimise crown scorch and usually only burns a portion of an area. It can be called prescribed burning, hazard reduction burning, controlled burning or ecological maintenance burning. Prescribed burning can use ground and aerial prescribed burning, the latter using aircraft to drop small incendiary capsules on a grid spacing that allows for mild burns and covering large areas safely. The mild burns are designed to join up late in the evening where conditions are cooler and the grid is designed for that to occur. It is important that flame heights are kept as low as possible and there are unburnt patches remaining.
Survey – Impact of Firefighting chemicals on Species and Ecosystems in Australia
A team of researchers at Griffith University are conducting a survey to try and identify knowledge and knowledge gaps in relation to the impact of fire-fighting chemicals on species and ecosystems in Australia as part of a larger project.
They are looking for the opinions of people from groups involved in fire management in Australia.
These groups might include fire services, researchers, policy makers, land managers, government and chemical manufacturers.
Scientist investigating Australia’s past says Indigenous cultural burning key to controlling bushfires
Nestled beside one of Melbourne’s busiest roads, sits the Bolin Bolin Billabong — a site of immense cultural significance for the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people.
Part of a once-vast wetland that flowed into the Yarra River, it’s known to them as Birrarung.
It used to be rich in native foods such as waterfowl, fish, eels and plants.
For associate professor in earth sciences and Wiradjuri man Michael Shawn Fletcher, it’s still rich — in priceless data.
His scientific analysis of this muddy waterhole gives an extraordinary window into the past.
2021 Peer Support Training Opportunity
RED Friday Peer Support Team Training is available for up to fifteen NSW RFS Volunteer Firefighters (fully sponsored by RED Friday).
RED Friday has created a program schedule specifically for NSW RFS Volunteers.
Note: You don’t have to be a member of the VFFA to participate.
The primary focus of the program is the development of the skills needed to provide a reliable internal support system at a Brigade level and a crisis response plan (external support programs) as needed.
Potential opportunities for improved town and city bushfire protection across Australia
An indepth study by John O’Donnell looks back on all the major house and structure losses associated with major fires and distills the recommendations from these fires into 24 key principles in regards to town and city bushfire protection.
You can download your copy from the story.
Coulson’s successful night fire suppression program
Coulson’s pioneering in the night fire suppression space is really ground breaking. Read more ….