Volunteers and auxiliary firefighters with all major fire services across Australia are invited to participate in a nationwide survey that takes volunteer opinions and advice direct to Government and Emergency Management sector decision makers.
The survey has been a success in Victoria since 2012 and is being rolled out by each State's representative associations as part of a move by the national body, the Council of Australian Volunteer Fire Associations (CAVFA) to take it to volunteers across the country.
Thousands of Victorian CFA volunteers have taken part in the survey every year; it asks questions on issues that were chosen by volunteers as most important to them, and takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete online. This year, CAVFA hope to engage many more volunteers across the country to have their say.
The survey was developed by Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV), the association representing Victoria's 60,000 CFA volunteers; it was designed to address a significant gap in the information available to the State's decision makers, and over the years has become an unmatched guide to trends in emergency services volunteer opinions in Victoria.
The survey is designed to better understand the issues as volunteers see them, and is used by volunteer associations to bring the frontline volunteers' opinions and advice on matters affecting their welfare and efficiency directly to the State Government and senior decision makers in the Emergency Management sector.
The purpose of the Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey is to ensure that volunteers' needs and expectations are sought, analysed and available to Government and the EM Sector so the very foundation of the volunteer-based emergency service continues to be recognised and supported to meet the future emergency services needs of the community.
The survey is a cooperative process, allowing each Association to provide reliable facts and figures to support its representation of all volunteers. The results in Victoria are studied by VFBV and the CFA Board, and Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner has applauded it as an excellent tool for all who work to understand and support the needs of volunteers.
This year, as we expect thousands of volunteers across the country to participate, it will provide a powerful message that will enable CAVFA to advocate and discuss volunteer key issues with senior decision makers.
If you haven't already participated, you will find a link to your association's version of the survey here.