Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria)– My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and it is in relation to the Kolora Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigade in the south-west of Victoria. I have recently been made aware that of the 20 members of the brigade only 3 members have had first aid training, of whom 2 were trained through their workplace, not the CFA. With this in mind, brigade members have asked the CFA to run a first aid training session for members. However, they were told the CFA would not run a course due to a lack of funding. The members were told that if they wanted to be trained in first aid, then the volunteers would have to pay for the courses themselves or travel for over 2 hours each way to scheduled courses.
Many of the members at the station, as well as others in nearby stations, are farmers, and therefore the logistics of travelling more than 4 hours in one day to attend a course is near impossible. The brigade has also raised the issue with the Country Fire Service Volunteer Association with no success. Having only three members trained in first aid leaves the brigade very vulnerable to the high probability that the brigade will arrive at a fire or emergency situation with no first aid trained CFA volunteers. This would be an incredibly dangerous situation, not only for the surrounding community but also for fellow firefighters.
The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with details of the current CFA policy in relation to this that ensures that there are sufficient numbers of first aid trained members of a given CFA station, including what the ratio of first aid trained members to total number of members at a brigade is. I also request that the minister personally look into this issue to ensure that the first aid training sessions are available to this fire brigade, as well as to the surrounding CFA brigades that are in the same situation, at the earliest possible time.