Statement from the Fire Rescue Commissioner regarding FRV’s bushfire response

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 at 4:04 am

You may be aware of recent media reports that discuss FRV’s capacity to respond to bushfires this summer.  

I’d like to confirm that the information published this morning was not factual, the paper referenced was in draft form, remains unsigned, and has not been consulted upon or endorsed by FRV leadership.

In addition, FRV was not approached by the outlet and given the opportunity to provide comment to address the matters raised and inaccuracies before the article was published.

I wish to assure you that our longstanding emergency response and incident control arrangements remain in place and have not changed as a result of the fire and rescue service reforms.

The reforms mean that CFA has been empowered with the responsibility to lead direct bushfire response in country Victoria, with support from FRV and that FRV has the responsibility to lead direct bushfire response in the Fire Rescue Victoria area of coverage with support of CFA.

One of the many advantages of the reforms is that Victoria’s fire and rescue agencies have the ability to share resources seamlessly across the state.

FRV has a number of pumper tankers that it will make available for strike team capability based on any increased risk over the summer, at the request of CFA.

FRV crews continue to respond to bush and grass fires in the FRV area, undertake size up, establish command and control structures and work in partnership with CFA crews in the frontline firefighting effort.

Additionally FRV personnel will always play key roles in a range of functional positions in incident management teams, and specialist support.

We have already seen these benefits in action at a recent grass fire at Main Ridge in the Southern 2 District. This incident demonstrated a high level of interoperability and saw CFA and FRV crews working together to achieve the best possible community safety outcome.   

Each and every shift, FRV and CFA crews continue to work seamlessly together to protect and serve the Victorian community.

Both fire and rescue agencies continue to use their combined resources to provide the best service to Victorians, who should be in absolutely no doubt that the community is well protected this coming fire season.

Stay safe,

Ken G. Block
Fire Rescue Commissioner