Fiskville – Independent monitor of CFA

The Independent Monitor – Fiskville was appointed in February 2013 to monitor CFA’s progress in implementing Robert Joy report.  CFA is committed to implementing the 10 recommendations.  This reports shows the agency has acted on 9 of the 10.

Independent Monitor – Fiskville Report, July 2015

Firefighters doing practical drills at the Fiskville training centre  between 1970’s and 1990’s were exposed to harmful chemicals.


Fiskville recommendations

The latest report on the Fiskville training centre from the Victorian parliamentary inquiry was released on 24 June. The inquiry was set up to examine pollution and contamination activities at CFA Training College between 1970 and 1990.

“The interim report from the Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee recommended that the Victorian Government:

  • Oversee thorough testing of soil and water, including tank water, on adjoining or relevant properties to the CFA training college at Fiskville to determine any immediate risks, and consider what needs to be done if affected people cannot sell their livestock or produce
  • Assess the feasibility of providing voluntary testing for PFOS free of charge to firefighters – career and volunteer – current and former staff at Fiskville, other trainees, and people who live or have lived on neighbouring properties
  • Ensures that any person who seeks records and documents relating to their involvement with Fiskville is able to do so from government agencies and departments without hindrance.”

Read more

Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee  – Fiskville enquiry

Inquiry into the CFA Training College at Fiskville Interim report

Fiskville investigation – CFA


Interim report on Australia’s toxic fire training college (29 June)

Fiskville report: Dangerous toxins testing required around CFA training base, 24 June
ABC online

Fiskville boss ignored the risks, got promoted, says fire fighter, 15 June
Melbourne Age

New National Civil Defence Emergency Plan released

A new national CDEM Plan will come into force on 1 December 2015.  Just released by the Minister, the new plan is part of the mandated revision cycle. It was delayed to incorporate learnings from the Canterbury earthquakes.​

Read more 

New Zealand’s new Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan approved
Press release, Hon Nikki Kaye, 5 June

Read the plan here – an Order in Council (what is that?)

National civil defence emergency management​ plan order 2015

Revised national civil defence emergency management plan – FAQ,  June 2015​

NFPA Journal launches new podcast service

Are you a podcast addict? Find yourself listening in the car, while cooking dinner, brushing your teeth, doing chores?  You’ve probably got my ear buds in now.

Podcasts are a great way to be engaged and learning while taking care of some of life’s more mundane and mindless tasks.

NFPA podcasts will explore in greater depth some of the issues and topics covered in the NFPA Journal and bring them to you in audio form. Each month, they will pick an interesting article, column, or idea from Journal, and talk to the author or an expert, and dive deep into what the issues are, and what you should know— all in 20 minutes or less.

The first edition of NFPA Journal Podcast (released April 14) covers the concept of resiliency—which in recent years has become a huge buzzword in the emergency planning, security and business worlds.

NZFS personnel can read issues of NFPA Journal online via NZFS Library webpage on Firenet.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Each year 28 April is acknowledged as Workers’ Memorial Day, or as WorkSafe NZ and the International Labour Organization (ILO) describe it, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

This year they’ve created a SafeDay website with an interactive page for people to help build a culture of prevention. Why don’t you join them and play!

NZ study shows smoke alarms less likely in rental homes

Interviews with the parents of almost 7,000 children under two years old, found that 28% of privately owned rentals don’t have working smoke alarms.

The study found:
 Families who lived in private rental homes were less likely to have a working smoke alarm (28% without smoke alarm) than those who lived in their own home (14%), or in public or social rental accommodation (9%). In addition, families who lived in the most deprived areas (NZDep deciles 8-10) were less likely to have a working smoke alarm than those who lived in the least deprived areas (NZDep deciles 1-3).
Around 80% of households kept matches out of reach.
Read the summary on the lives of 2 year olds, from the Growing up in New Zealand, longitudinal study.
Or read the full report
Growing Up in New Zealand is New Zealand’s contemporary longitudinal study tracking the development of approximately 7,000 New Zealand children from before birth until they are young adults. The children were born between April 2009 and March 2010. The study is run out of the University of Auckland.
The study has produced 5 major reports to date.

Queensland review – bullying and sexual harrassment

On 3 October 2014 the Premier engaged Margaret Allison to conduct an independent review of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and Public Safety Business Agency’s (PSBA) handling of sexual harassment and workplace bullying, in response to an incident involving Queensland firefighters…..the report was delivered to the Premier on 19 December 2014. The report has two parts: an independent assessment of the organisational management of the particular incident involving QFES staff, and observations about culture within QFES that gave rise to the incident in question.

Read the report

More from the Queensland Government, including

The statement from report author Margaret Allison (pdf)


Read a brief comment by Michael Eburn at his Australian emergency law blog.

Sourced via AIPM’s blog Know it know.

Quebec tragedy inquest

Volunteer training and fire safety provisions are in focus in Canada, in the aftermath of a January fire in a seniors’ residence which left 32 people dead.

A coronial inquiry to the fire in L’Isle-Verte, Quebec, began in November. It has been extended.  It has generated some media.

 Quebec government boosts funding for volunteer firefighters CBC news, Montreal 12 Dec

  • Quebec Public Safety Minister Lise Thériault says program will cost $19.5M over five years
  • Witnesses who testified at an ongoing coroner’s inquest into the incident have described firefighters arriving ill-prepared for the scale of the blaze


L’Isle-Verte residence met all government norms, inquest told Montreal Gazette, 17 Nov

“Because it was built in 1997, the wing of the Résidence du Havre that burned was not required to have sprinklers and smoke detectors in residents’ rooms were not connected to a central alarm system, the inquiry heard.

An adjoining wing of the residence, built in 2003, was equipped with sprinklers and was separated by a firewall. It did not burn and its residents escaped the fire.”


L’Isle-Verte rescue effort was ‘free for all,’ witness says
CBC news, Montreal 27 Nov
“Good Samaritan Pascal Paquin traumatized by what he witnessed during rescue effort.”


Fire Safety Assessment Report for Licensed Residential Care Facilities and Registered Assisted Living Residences  (pdf)
November 17, 2014
“Following a tragic fire at a seniors` residence in Quebec….. British Columbia (BC)is reviewing the fire safety provisions in residential care facilities and registered assisted living residences.”

Organisational learning + decision making

More quality, relevant content – just out now in the latest International journal of emergency services

A study identifying factors influencing decision making in dynamic emergencies like urban fire and rescue settings
David Launder Chad
International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 3 Iss 2, 2014
Sofie Pilemalm Dennis Andersson Kayvan Yousefi Mojir
International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 3 Iss 2, 2014
Incident Command Training: the Introspect Model
Katherine Jane Lamb Jim Davies Richard Bowley John-Paul Williams
International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 3 Iss 2, 2014
Greg Linsdell Colin Rogers
International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 3 Iss 2 pp., 2014
When you are on the NZFS network, these links take you straight through. Alternatively, NZFS people may contact us for any article.

Warwickshire learnings – BA + incident command

In 2007, four firefighters lost their lives in a fire at a vegetable packing and processing facility in the UK.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) has completely reviewed its approach to training since this incident, particularly on breathing apparatus and incident command. It also picked up a lack of understanding of modern methods of building construction by many of the operational crews.
Take a look, and learn what WFRS have learnt the hard way.