New consultation process and Place Based Command and Control process being developed now
Tuesday, 4 Jun 2019
Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing, RFBAQ President and RFBAQ General Manager commenced work on creating an agreed process for consultation with associations and staff representative bodies that will ensure that new ideas or changes to the support brigades receive from QFES are subject to a greater deal of rigour and consultation. The end product will be simple to understand and use, and ensure that the brigades that defend regional and rural Queensland have their community interests considered.
This is an agreed process to trigger engagement with brigade volunteers, brigades and the RFBAQ and RFSQ Staff.
An example would be –
- ‘RFSQ/QFES want to look at amending the terms of reference for the Strategic Committees – this would go to the RFBAQ SEM’.
- ‘RFSQ/QFES want to look at allowing the Commissioner to dismiss a brigade member from membership of a brigade – this would require all brigades to be supplied with easily understandable and accessible information that they can discuss at brigade level, RFSQ Area Office staff would be supplied with briefing materials to be able to answer brigade questions locally and this would culminate in a quick series of Q&A sessions in times and places that are convenient to brigade volunteers (like Legal Status)’.
- There are obviously many differing types and styles of engagement/consultation in between.
This is acknowledgement that as unincorporated associations that truly reflect individual community needs, brigades are different to any other part of QFES and need to be consulted/engaged across a longer term with more information needing to be supplied so that the brigades can make informed local decisions.
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Place Based Command and Control
A simple workable command and control tactical directive, that clearly defines responsibility of Rural Fire Brigades and Fire and Rescue Service. One of the greatest worries was brigades believing that they are losing the ability to remain in control of fires in their own areas and that non-place based incident controllers did not know how fire travelled locally and that fires ran longer and burnt out more country than necessary due to this disconnect. The RFBAQ and Mike Wassing are developing a simple directive tool that condenses the many pages of doctrine into a usable single page that brigades understand and outlines a 1st Officers rights and responsibilities in fighting bushfires and meeting community defence needs in and out of their brigade areas.
It is intended that the tool will be available in a single laminated page and also as a dashboard sticker for all Rural Fire trucks. In addition to this easy to use tool there will be supporting detailed documentation.
What will this achieve? – Informed brigades and volunteers and the ability for local brigades to be in control of the command of the fires that threaten their communities.