Over 72 000 volunteers from 2000 Rural Fire Brigades protect over 95% of NSW from the threat of bush fires. With such a large number spread out across the state it’s no wonder the role of NSW RFSA /NSW RFS Consultative Committees is of vital importance to ensure issues that affect volunteers are communicated and addressed.
There are four NSW RFSA/NSW RFS Consultative Committees that serve as a formal mechanism for volunteers and the service to consult on matters of mutual interest. The Committees are Infrastructure Services, Membership Services, Operational Services and Community Engagement.
Each Committee is chaired by a NSW RFS Director with the deputy chair being a Director of the RFSA. The remainder of the Committee consists of eight RFSA Members. Membership is determined through an expression of interest process with two representatives from each NSW RFS Region appointed to each of the four Committees.
Consultative Committees are the forum through which matters that have been considered by State Council are raised, recommendations can be developed and road blocks are removed. The Committees were first formed in 2010 and meet three times annually.
Some of the recent Committee discussions have centred on the following:
Operational Services Committee
- Post Incident reporting and the opportunity to lessen the burden on our volunteers.
- Fatigue Management and ensuring it is implemented at all levels in the Service.
- Illegal burning and ensuring that the fines are appropriate.
Membership Services Committee
- Noise and Hearing Protections Service Standard.
- Code of Conduct training for volunteers.
- Manual Handling Task Assessments and Risk Analysis.
Infrastructure Services Committee
- Communications Infrastructure.
Community Engagement Committee
- Travelling Roadshows.
- Translating factsheets into languages other than English.
- Engaging the deaf community.
The core concept of the Committees is the consultative nature with a body of volunteers and staff operating in the spirit of participation and co-operation in order to achieve outcomes. Members have the ability to consult on a broad range of issues due to the varied skills and abilities of the representatives and implement initiatives arising from discussions.
List of Committees
Operational Services Consultative Committee
Membership Services Consultative Committee
Infrastructure Consultative Committee
Community Engagement Consultative Committee