Tag: Comments and Feedback

What have we become?

I love the simplicity, culture and attitudes of my local Bushfire Brigade. The members of the Dry Plains Brigade are a practical bunch of rural people that don’t like wasting money and are willing to fix things when they are broken or damaged. All around us, we see a world that is becoming wasteful and items are discarded in place of the newer product.

I love the new stuff as much as anyone else, but I do try to move things along to another user, recycle and reuse wherever possible.

In a stark contrast, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW Government seems to be wasting huge amounts of money on many unnecessary empire building developments including expensive fire suppression strategies. Meanwhile the simple things like accepting and allowing Aboriginal land management practices to be used by communities and Brigades gets kiboshed by red tape. These simple and effective land management practices have the potential to save huge amounts of money and the environment from certain destruction.

I’m not suggesting that we discard new firefighting technologies but we seem to have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, discarding much of the local knowledge, bush skills and practical firefighting skill (formerly referred to as firemanship).

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RFS Membership Form Update

The new RFS Membership Form has been updated with changes that include:
Section 5, Child Related Activities was updated because the agency responsible is now known as the Office of the Children’s Guardian (formerly known as the Commission for Children and Young People).
Section 8, Applicant Declaration was updated to address the changes in legislation concerning personal information, privacy, child related activites and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) National Police Checking Service requirements.
Section 9, Parental or Guardian’s Consent was updated with additional information and two check boxes for the parent or guardian to give their consent based on the applicant’s age at the time of joining.
Section 10, Brigade Validation was updated to include a Brigade checklist with three checkboxes to ensure the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check/Application and Informed Consent Form has been reviewed and relevant documents have been sighted.
Section 11, Confirmation of Interview was updated with checkboxes for the Brigade to consider the applicant’s suitability for membership.
Section 6, RFSA Membership was updated to fix the tick or cross error (as reported in a recent VFFA web site post).

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Blue or Yellow

During independent testing in Alberta, Canada, it has been identified that the blue coloured clothing absorbs more heat.
Why then… do we now see a move towards blue pants?
This is probably an issue with yellow shirts rather than a blue pants issue.
Its also worth noting that it is hard to get any pants other than yellow over trousers in the bush.
This is not anything new, volunteers have picked up on this conflicting argument when the blue pants were originally rolled out.
This issue is further evidence that the NSW Rural Fire Service does whatever it wants without sufficient consultation.

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Helping the RFSA obtain an Informed and Accurate View

The VFFA is pleased to learn that the NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) is seeking active participation from Brigade / RFSA membership in presenting an informed and accurate presentation of the current state of the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) to the Keelty Commission of Inquiry.

It is important to the VFFA that Mr Keelty obtains an accurate, open and transparent view from ALL firefighters and members of the public.

Please respond to this campaign quickly because the submissions are required before Wednesday, 11th April 2018.

We have provided a link that can be used to submit your views to all three of the following recipients:

1. The Minister for Emergency Services (troy.grant@parliament.nsw.gov.au)
2. NSW Rural Fire Service Association (submissions@rfsa.org.au)
3. Volunteer Fire Fighters Association (feedback@volunteerfirefighters.org.au)

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Is the NSW State Government being Bullied?

Did you know that the bullying and harassment issue has been around for a long time in the NSW RFS and it is not limited to RFS Volunteers?
Where does this bullying and harassment come from and where will it end?
It looks very suspicious when we see the NSW State Government failing to respond to the views of regional and rural communities. One example is the decentralisation of the RFS Head Office.
Are they being influenced by the NSW RFS?
Are they being bullied in some way?

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Draft Grievance Service Standards for Comment

The following Draft Service Standards are currently out for consultation and members are encouraged to provide feedback.
The VFFA is sharing this material to help provide the widest circulation possible.
Send you feedback or enquiries by email to feedback.standards@rfs.nsw.gov.au or provide your feedback via the MyRFS forums.
1. Consultation Draft Service Standard 1.1.3 – Notice of Grievance Form.
2. Consultation Draft Service Standard 1.1.3 Grievances v3.0

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Was the attack on the fundraising activities of the RFSA justified? – Part 2

This part in our series displays an email thread dating back to early 2010. It is being provided as an example that others have raised concerns about the fund raising activities of the RFSA long before the recent newspaper exposure.

“Since originally researching this I have spoken to several people who have purchased the raffle tickets. Every one of them believes that they are contributing to the RFS. When I suggest that only 10% of their purchase ends up with the RFS they are clearly upset. Mostly these people are elderly and what I would consider “soft” marketing targets. I believe the telemarketers take advantage of their willingness to help and once they have made a purchase, they are placed on a call back list to repeatedly be sought for future ticket purchases.”

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Was the attack on the fundraising activities of the RFSA justified? – Part 1

Part 1: November 29, 2016 – The Daily Telegraph published an exclusive by Kelly Burke that sent ripples through the commercial fund raising industry in NSW.

On this occasion, the fund raising activities of the Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) were under attack.

The flow-on effect from this article serves as a reminder for all fund raising groups to ensure that they are operating with a clear conscience.

This series of posts will attempt to pull back the covers on the RFSA fund raising activities and share stories from others who raised concerns long before the VFFA began to poke it with the media stick.

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