The SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia Incorporated (SESVA)
(A prescribed Association for SES Volunteers in WA)
"one Association many issues"
Welcome to the website of the State Emergency Service Volunteers Association of Western Australia Incorporated (SESVA). The SESVA was formed in the late 1980’s with the objective of providing a focus for representing the views of SES Volunteers on issues which affect them. The SESVA has developed the ability to strongly voice the opinion of the volunteers where, when necessary, to the benefit of all the Volunteers of the SES, where the action of a single Volunteer or small group would not be as effective. The SESVA represents SES volunteers on a number of committees and working groups and has regular meetings with DFES.
SESVA role is to represent the views of SES Volunteers to all levels of Government, DFES and other agencies on all matters affecting SES volunteers and the way in which we serve our communities.
SESVA Committee of Management
There is a Committee of Management to control the Association. The Management Committee consists of the following members:
Powers of the Management Committee
The Management Committee is the deliberative body in the Association with powers to make and direct policy, make, amend, or rescind the Constitution, and generally to take such actions as it considers necessary for the furtherance of the Association and its objects. The general management of the affairs of the Association is vested in the Management Committee.
An executive council, consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary and any two committee members shall take care of the day to day affairs of the Association. The executive council may authorise payments on behalf of the Association.
Objects of the Association
- Be an independent and representative body of the volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia and the Volunteer Emergency Service
- Promote and communicate knowledge and information to and amongst the volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia
- Provide an effective voice for the volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia
- Operate a fund or trust for the benefit of volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia
Current SESVA Activities:
- Regular contact with DFES Commissioner and Senior Executive to discuss strategic, policy and high level issues
- Monthly meeting with DFES Chief Superintendents and stakeholder managers to discuss operational and other issues
- Meeting on a regular basis with the Minister for Emergency Services
- Meeting on a regular basis with the Shadow Minister for Emergency Services
- Membership of subject matter groups, PPE, vehicles, equipment, training, communications and legislation
- Co-partnering with DFES to organise the annual SES conference and awards night
- Attendance at AFAC conferences
- Attendance at Regional Local Managers meetings
- SESVA website, twitter and facebook management
- Publishing SESVA Journal, calendar and diary
- Attending to local issues when requested by SES Units
- SES Vehicle Licence Plate Project
- SESVA has a seat on both the National SESVA Board and National Council – providing a National voice for SES Volunteer Associations
- Providing input to the National representative on the Australian Emergency Management Volunteers Forum (AEMVF) on matters that could affect SES Volunteers at a National level
- Development of a strategic plan for the SES Volunteers Association
- A member of the new Emergency Services Volunteers welfare and support fund implementation team
- Member of the Inter-Agency Working Group (IWG) on the review of the Emergency Services Acts
- Regular communication from SESVA Regional Representatives to SES Units and Volunteers
- Provision of an SES Flag to all SES Units
- Actively promoting the good work SES Units and Volunteers do to support their community
- Promoting and facilitating sponsorship assistance to SES Units
- SESVA/BHP Billiton Bus Project
- Production of SES Merchandise available for SES Members to purchase
- Planning and conduct of the SES State Rescue Competition
- Management of the WASES Hall of Fame
- Plan and conduct and SES Social night (Shin-dig)
You can also read all previous news items in our News Archive
VEHICLE HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS AT THE FES CONFERENCE VENUE (PCEC)
Please note that over-height vehicles (such as Cruisers) will not be able to park at PCEC during the FES Conference. Country delegates bringing over-height vehicles to the conference will have to park at Wilson’s Parking, 391 Hay Street, Perth. DFES has booked open air parking for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the conference.
Volunteers will have to advise if they require this parking - ASAP - as DFES will need to issue you with pre-paid parking tickets before the conference.
SO THAT DFES CAN GET THESE TICKETS TO YOU ON TIME, PLEASE ADVISE BY RETURN EMAIL YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, EMAIL AND TELEPHONE NUMBER BEFORE THURSDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER.
Opportunity to participate in tsunami study
We’re looking for community volunteers and emergency services workers to participate in an Australian Tsunami Advisory Group and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC study investigating community perceptions of tsunami risk and warning systems in coastal communities. Participation involves a one-hour interview discussing how you communicate about coastal issues within your community group or organisation, and your perceptions of tsunami risk and related warning systems. Please get in touch with Katelyn Rossiter for more information if you would like to take part.
Katelyn Rossiter, PhD Candidate, School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Ph: 0417598608 email@example.com
Close date: Friday 30th August, 2015
This study has been approved by the Tasmanian Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee: Reference number H13987.
Auditors General’s Report to Parliament
The Auditor General’s Report into the Support and Preparedness of Fire and Emergency Services Volunteers was tabled in the WA Parliament today – 20 August 2015. SES Volunteers are to be congratulated in providing a lot of input both personally and to the SES Volunteers Association who then provided a consolidated view to the Office of the Auditor General.
Below are the findings and recommendations. Please follow this link for the full statement and report Support and Preparedness of Fire and Emergency Services Volunteers
There are seven (7) key findings and four (4) recommendations
1. DFES does not know how many volunteers it needs. It has not assessed the number of volunteers required in specific locations to respond to incidents. Without a clear understanding of this, DFES cannot know if it has gaps in its service capability and the seriousness of those gaps. DFES advised it will be creating risk profiles for all services, that take into account physical and human resources before the end of 2015.
2. DFES knows that volunteer membership records are inaccurate and that volunteer numbers are about 20 per cent less than the reported 29 000. This is due in part to both DFES and LGs relying on manual systems to update volunteer records. Further, a significant number of volunteers do not regularly respond to incidents. DFES records do not accurately reflect volunteer availability. Incomplete volunteer training records contribute to this issue, as DFES does not have a clear picture of volunteers trained to respond.
3. Data trends show that volunteer turnover has been an ongoing issue since 2006, with an annual turnover of around 15 per cent across all services. Exit surveys and our discussions with volunteers identified issues around management and supervision styles (of other volunteers and DFES staff) and not feeling valued. To address increasing turnover, DFES is developing an Emergency Services Volunteer Workforce Sustainability Strategy. Although aimed to start in 2014, the draft strategy has still not been circulated for consultation. DFES expect to circulate the strategy by September 2015.
4. DFES knows what operational skills its volunteers need and has developed training programs based on this. However, geographic isolation, availability of trainers and assessors, and inaccurate training records affect training delivery. This means, volunteers may not be appropriately skilled to respond to incidents, potentially leading to significant safety risks.
5. Almost 82 per cent of the respondents to our statewide survey of volunteers said that they had all or most of the equipment they needed to perform their roles. This result was backed by our discussions with volunteers at the sites we visited. However, a few volunteer groups raised concerns around the suitability of some equipment for their local conditions and delays in getting equipment, particularly personal protective clothing.
6. Existing DFES policies do not address volunteer fatigue and as a result, volunteers must self-manage their fatigue. This carries considerable risks when volunteers do not manage their fatigue effectively. For example, it is not unusual for volunteers to respond to an incident after already having worked a full day of paid employment. Fatigue can be physically and mentally hazardous for volunteers and may be a significant occupational health and safety risk during an incident.
7. While volunteers were generally happy with the recognition, counselling, and insurance provided by DFES, some issues exist. Primarily, volunteers and some DFES staff are confused around what services are available to which volunteers. This means that volunteers may not access services such as counselling when required. Planned changes to legislation should help address these issues, but DFES will need to communicate availability of services more effectively.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services should:
1. Continue to implement the major change projects it has in place, including Professional Pathways, and review them to assess if they will address all the key findings in this report. In particular, within six months DFES should set priorities and begin implementing the Emergency Services Volunteer Workforce Sustainability Strategy.
2. Within 12 months, improve its processes for collecting and maintaining volunteer membership, availability and training records. To do this it will need to work with local governments to improve the accuracy of LG volunteer membership information.
3. Within 12 months, develop volunteer specific policies and procedures, including fatigue management, consistent with the Guidelines for Successful Partnerships between Public Sector Agencies and Volunteers.
4. Within six months, consider improved processes for consulting with and engaging volunteers and continue to work with LGs to improve information sharing and communication. Specifically, DFES should improve communication around its decisions on equipment and training as well as provide better information about access to services.