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Meeting the demands of a 21st century Victoria

Victoria’s fire services are being reformed so that they can meet the needs of our rapidly changing state – now and into the future.

The bravery, skill and dedication of our firefighters, whether career or volunteer, keep Victorian communities safe.

But firefighters are let down by outdated management and governance structures that can’t keep up with Victoria’s rapid growth and evolution.

Victoria has the best firefighters in the world, but they currently operate under systems and structures that have not changed since the 1950s.

As our state grows and changes, the demands on our fire services will only continue to mount. Our cities and suburbs have grown significantly and it is clear that these services are in need of modernisation.

These challenges have been made clear through a number of reviews in recent years, including the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission , and they have all concluded: We must modernise our state’s fire services.

Country Fire Authority (CFA) serves rural, regional and urban areas with a network of 1,220 community-based volunteer brigades, including 38 integrated stations staffed by career firefighters and volunteers.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) has career firefighters at 47 stations across Melbourne.

A modern fire service

A new organisation – Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) – will bring together MFB and CFA career firefighters to serve metropolitan Melbourne and major regional centres.

The CFA will be restored as a volunteer firefighter organisation, and Victoria’s 1,220 CFA volunteer brigades will be strengthened and supported to serve and protect their communities as they always have.

Importantly, CFA volunteers currently serving at one of the State’s integrated stations will be able to remain at that station if they choose to, co-locating with Fire Rescue Victoria services under the altered boundaries.

Fire Rescue Victoria will cover existing MFB boundaries and serve metropolitan Melbourne, outer urban areas and larger regional centres across Victoria. Boundaries will also be altered to reflect population growth across the State – a change the fire services have requested for a long time.

To ensure our fire services can adapt as Victoria grows, an independent Fire District Review Panel will be established to advise on future changes to the boundaries.

In support of these reforms, the Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2019 was introduced to Parliament on 29 May 2019.

Presumptive rights compensation scheme

The reforms will introduce presumptive rights to cancer compensation for career and volunteer firefighters, recognising the invaluable service they provide which often requires them to work in inherently dangerous conditions.

Administered through WorkSafe, the new scheme will apply to individuals who have served as firefighters for a specified number of years, depending on the cancer type, and have been diagnosed since 1 June 2016.

Map of integrated stations

Integrated stations include both career and volunteer firefighters and are currently run by CFA. Under the proposed legislation, these stations will move to FRV. Volunteer brigades will be supported to co-locate with FRV units.

Click on a circle to see the integrated fire stations in that area. Use the + and - to zoom in and out of the map.  Use your mouse or finger to move the map around.

About the reform

Country Fire Authority

Fire Rescue Victoria

Reviewed 20 June 2019

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