Emer­gency train­ing re­view push

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Adam Poulsen

Mem­ber for the Agri­cul­tural Re­gion Colin de Grussa is call­ing for an over­haul of emer­gency ser­vices train­ing in WA, cit­ing a need for na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited train­ing de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with vol­un­teers.

The Na­tion­als WA MP moved a mo­tion in the Up­per House two weeks ago re­quest­ing the State Gov­ern­ment con­duct a re­view of the cur­rent train­ing model.

He said vol­un­teers across WA had told him the cur­rent train­ing model “did not ad­e­quately recog­nise prior learn­ing”.

“Nu­mer­ous vol­un­teers have spo­ken to me about their frus­tra­tions with the cur­rent sys­tem and some emer­gency ser­vices units are con­cerned that the cur­rent rigid pro­gram and lack of ac­ces­si­bil­ity is stop­ping peo­ple from get­ting in­volved,” he said.

“Vol­un­teers across bush­fire re­sponse, ma­rine res­cue and State emer­gency ser­vices have raised their con­cerns with me.”

Kal­barri State Emer­gency Ser­vice Unit man­ager Stephen Ca­ble said he agreed more con­sul­ta­tion was needed, adding that much of the train­ing vol­un­teers un­der­went was of lit­tle use.

“We have to do blan­ket cour­ses, where all the ma­te­rial, the ex­am­ples, the ve­hi­cles and ev­ery­thing are fire-ori­en­tated,” he said.

“Noth­ing frus­trates a non-fire vol­un­teer more than do­ing a course where all they talk about is fire.

“The SES needs to take own­er­ship of its own train­ing.”

Ger­ald­ton Vol­un­teer Ma­rine Res­cue Group com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Ian Beard said he took no is­sue with the way ma­rine res­cue train­ing was car­ried out.

“Our train­ing is ex­tremely prac­ti­cal, be­cause it’s ba­si­cally the same that you get if you are get­ting the qual­i­fi­ca­tion for a coxswain or a master fol­lower,” he said.

“If some­body has got a coxswain ticket, that is recog­nised, and if they haven’t got it they have to do the nec­es­sary in­duc­tions and cour­ses.

“I’m the com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer for the State body and I’ve heard no com­plaints.”

Emer­gency Ser­vices Min­is­ter Fran­cis Lo­gan said he had spo­ken with “hun­dreds” of vol­un­teers and the Gov­ern­ment was act­ing on the is­sues they had raised.

“Train­ing was one of the ar­eas dis­cussed, which is why the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices is right now re­view­ing how it de­liv­ers train­ing, how it can im­prove that de­liv­ery and work­ing with vol­un­teers on a way for­ward,” he said.

“The new DFES com­mis­sioner has per­son­ally given those vol­un­teers a com­mit­ment to im­prove train­ing and has ac­knowl­edged many of their con­cerns.

“Train­ing cour­ses will also be mapped to a com­pe­tency frame­work to give vol­un­teers more op­por­tu­nity to pur­sue recog­nised qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

“This has al­ready started with bush­fire train­ing.”

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