SES Volunteers Association of WA

One Association - Many Values

14/02/2012 – SES Training Restructure important update

Original Article posted on the website

In the West Australian 24 October 2011 FESA CEO Gregson was quoted as saying that he was astounded at the lack of training in FESA. We are also astounded and the Volunteers have an expectation that he will fix this by ensuring appropriate resourcing, staffing and funding, to ensure the effective and timely training of State Emergency Service Volunteers.

Our worst fears have been realised with FESA’s new training structure and the reduction of State Emergency Service training staff at Forrestfield Training Centre. The new training structure appears to be modelled on another service and is predominantly designed for the enhancement and development of FESA’s career staff. Whereas this may be good for the career staff there is no mention of training of the State Emergency Service Volunteers anywhere.

Please note that the number of operational hours by the 2200 volunteers who carry out the SES function far exceeds the number of operational hours by the SES career staff. This probably applies to the other Volunteer Services as well. The State Emergency Service has over twenty (20) courses that are specific to the State Emergency Service Volunteers and these are negotiated and agreed to at a national level.

The training component for FESA Volunteers far exceeds that of the career staff (more than 30 000 Volunteers versus 1 000 operational staff) and as such the training structure needs to reflect this.
The State Emergency Service based Volunteers are community based and as representatives of their communities have an expectation of appropriate Service Based training.

Previously there was a participative approach with SES Training and this worked well as these Volunteers had many transportable skills and organisational abilities from their employment and other roles in the community. The Staff trained the trainers and the Volunteers delivered the training to the volunteers with assistance for complex or higher level training.

History shows us that splitting and merging the SES functions with fire and other areas will not provide effective training and like the paper work that disappears in some regional offices, or the banning of ATVs by a non-relevant report, the SES Training will suffer badly and become ineffective or non-relevant for the SES functions.

CEO Gregson needs to get a handle on the community focussed SES Volunteers and their requirements for training immediately and provide a separate identifiable stream for the development, support and delivery of training for the community centred Volunteers of the State Emergency Service.

FESA Response

David Price
SES Volunteer Association
PO Box 530
BELMONT WA 6984

Dear David

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and Gordon Hall on Thursday 2nd February 2012 to discuss the restructure of the FESA Training Centre.

During this meeting it was decided that information on the strategic intent of the restructure would be beneficial in ensuring that SES volunteers are fully aware of the status of SES Training within the new structure.

In August 2009, a review of the organisational structure of FESA Training Centre (FTC) was undertaken by Price Consulting Group. During the review a range of issues were identified that directly impacted FTC’s capacity to respond to and meet service delivery needs. The key objectives of the restructure are:

Separate the training and compliance functions.
Sections grouped by functions rather than customer. Accommodate the creation of a cadre of permanent instructors. Establish a trainer/ assessor development and audit function.
Separate the functions of core foundation operational training from career officer development

Establish a campus management function.

Whilst the final new structure for FTC has not been finalised the current SES staff levels will be maintained with the possibility that this number may be increased. Consultation with all staff has been ongoing and will continue as we move closer to finalising the new structure.

I also accept your invitation to attend the next SES Volunteer Association meeting to address this issue.

Yours Sincerely

(SIGNED)

Darren Klemm
Assistant Chief Operations Officer Professional Development FESA Operations

FESA Training Centre
547 Dundas Road, Forrestfield, WA 6058
T: 94540777 F: 9454 0714 M: 0407 804 715 E: Darren.klemm@fesa.wa.gov.au

To read the document click link 120211 trg fesa klemm.pdf

SESVA Response

A group of volunteers submitted an article to this website 01/02/2012 on the above subject. FESA took exception to the material and demanded to have it removed; the SES Volunteer Association Executive Group met and discussed the matter.

As a sign of good faith and subject to an urgent meeting, called by ACOO Gary Gifford for 2 February to give a reply, the article was temporarily taken off the SESVA website. The Association met with FESA’s ACOO Metro SES (Gary Gifford) and ACOO Training (Darren Klemm) on Thursday afternoon (2 Feb).

At that meeting FESA gave an undertaking to forward to the Association within seven days of the above meeting, the strategic document outlining where the SES training for Volunteers and associated staff are situated in the new structure. Suggestions were made on how they could assist the Volunteers and how the new structure could be marketed.

Although the ACOO SES Metro stated that the document on the Association’s website was not balanced, the Association supports and stands by the submitted document as being representative of the views of many volunteers.

FESA have now responded to the meeting and the letter they have sent does not address any of the questions about training for State Emergency Service Volunteers. It is just FESA’s way of diffusing the whole issue of training and service delivery to Volunteers in the Emergency Services sector of Western Australia.

The simple question “Where does SES Training for Volunteers and Staff fit into the training structure” was a major point of discussion at the meeting and it has not been addressed in the attached letter. Once again FESA has promised something verbally but fails to deliver to the Volunteers of Western Australia. The State Emergency Services Volunteers Association are very interested in feedback and comments by SES Volunteers

Please direct these to: sescomment@gmail.com

This article as a word document     SESVA Training Issue Update.doc

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