Country Fire Authority chief Steve Warrington resigned Thursday night, hours after refusing to sign a special detachment agreement to operate the CFA from July 1. “There are now cases where volunteers do not have the support and expertise of commanders,” a senior CFA Operational official told CBA. Since the CFA will be a purely voluntary organization, its paid administrators and commanders will be seconded by the LF to lead the national firefighters. As part of the transformation of the fire brigade, the administrative staff of the CFA is detached from the new LRIF. CFA employees are concerned that the organization is “doomed to failure.” The firm`s confidential documents forwarded to the CBA raise new concerns about the UFU`s influence and suggest that his lawyer has submitted a draft secondment agreement. Firefighters have been plagued by lawn fighting between volunteers and professional firefighters for years. Minister Jane Garrett was also expelled from cabinet for opposing an agreement with the Prime Minister-backed United Firefighters Union. This was an important focal point for the volunteer association, which says the government did not consult the volunteers properly. A government spokeswoman said she had not commented on the cabinet`s deliberations and that the new laws had entrenched the role of volunteer firefighters.
By Matilda Marozzi and political journalist Richard Willingham The documents also indicate that the UFU has designed its own detachment model for the agreement between CFA and the new Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV). More than 1,200 CFA brigades will be maintained as volunteers. As a life-long professional CFA firefighter, Warrington led the state`s firefighters during the terrible summer of bushfires. The MFB will be replaced by frV, creating a new national professional firefighting agency for urban areas. There will be 85 brigades under his command. “These people are executives who plan and advise for the fire season.” “We are committed to no job losses as a part of these changes and we will continue to invest in our volunteers to ensure the CFA has what it needs to stay strong,” the spokeswoman said. With Victoria`s restless firefighters shaken by the resignation of a fire chief less than a week before a controversial overhaul of their system, new concerns have been raised about the influence of the powerful United Firefighters Union (UFU). The document also outlined UFU`s requests for 596 additional firefighters, 22 new fire trucks, two boats and six stations over the next six years, which are expected to cost more than US$400 million. Starting Wednesday, paid firefighters will switch to the new Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) in 38 integrated brigades in suburban Melbourne and in regional areas such as Traralgon, Warrnambool and Geelong.
But there are concerns, particularly from volunteer firefighters Victoria, that many volunteers are leaving the service because of the lack of jobs. The CBA considers that the project was amended after the Department of Justice and Community Safety found that parts of this project were “inconsistent with the law” and could “affect the powers of the [fire rescue] commissioner and/or the CFA senior officer.” “The rules deprive them of the flexibility and discretion required in an emergency.” In some urban areas, the CFA has not met the reference response times for incidents involving many volunteers who are away from their brigades because of their work. “Victoria has the best firefighters in the world, but they work under systems and structures that haven`t changed since the 1950s. Reform laws were passed by Parliament last year after years of political bloodshed. Next Wednesday, the CFA will become a voluntary service. According to Cabinet for Trust documents seen by the CBA, the UFU has a proposal for nearly 600 additional firefighters over the next six years, at a cost of more than $400 million.