07/03/2013 - Submissions for Legislative Review

SES VOLUNTEER SUBMISSIONS FOR THE LEGISLATIVE REVIEW BY DFES
THE State Emergency Service Volunteers Association (SESVA) has assessed feedback from SES Volunteers through direct submissions, the SESVA legislative review briefing and Facebook.  To retain the integrity of the State Emergency Service and provide a quality level of service delivery for the preparation and response to the natural hazards in Western Australia, the Association urges all Volunteers to take these seven (7) key statements into account when making their submissions or briefing other persons or organisations about the amalgamation of the current pieces of legislation.

The Association has also been advised that the SES Volunteers only work under one act, The Fire and Emergency Services Act (1998) when carrying out their SES role. The advice also says that under the current Act, DFES do not have a Governance role in relation to the SES units during non-operational times only an oversight of the SES Units.

The State Emergency Service Volunteers are part of a National brand that is easily recognisable throughout this nation and in WA there are over 2000 Volunteers carrying out the State Emergency Service function.   The SES Volunteers have been in a number of departments since leaving the Civil Defence in 1959, including the Premiers, WA Police, FESA and now the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Following are the seven (7) key statements.

KEY STATEMENT 1
The State Emergency Service (SES) to be a stand-alone group with;
1.    their own structure,
2.    SES exclusive regulations and,
3.    have responsibility for the 5 traditional natural hazards of the SES.

KEY STATEMENT 2
The SES Volunteers will be a part of the National Brand with all Volunteer SES Units being autonomous, with their own governance for discipline and grievances (via their constitutions).

KEY STATEMENT 3
The State Emergency Service to take overall Command and Control of all traditional SES Operations (i.e. the 5 natural hazards).

KEY STATEMENT 4
SES Volunteers to be treated in the same manner as staff (timely recompense and welfare services) when injured during operations or training.

KEY STATEMENT 5
The SES Volunteers to have their own training section and regional staff returned to them as per the pre-2008 levels.

KEY STATEMENT 6
As SES Volunteers provide a fire support role in the field they must be covered by the presumptive legislation for the 25 known cancers caused by fire and chemicals.

KEY STATEMENT 7
If the SES is to be a part of an umbrella organisation, then the name of that organisation must reflect Emergency Services, for example the Department of Emergency Services.