The Victorian Government has announced a team of highly experienced fire and rescue sector executives to support inaugural Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block in leading Victoria’s new service – Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) – from 1 July.
The newly appointed Deputy Commissioners bring together experienced senior firefighters from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) and fire agencies from other jurisdictions, and together with Commissioner Block, will provide FRV with the executive leadership, capability and experience needed.
Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) recipient Kenneth Brown will join FRV as Deputy Commissioner in the Office of the Fire Rescue Commissioner. Mr Brown brings to the role significant experience in the fire and rescue sector and is currently MFB Acting Deputy Chief Officer, Operational Preparedness.
Michelle Young AFSM has been appointed Deputy Commissioner of Fire Safety, where she will manage safety, fire investigation, alarm assessment and community resilience. Ms Young brings significant experience as a firefighter with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services since 1995, where she is currently Assistant Commissioner.
David Bruce AFSM will bring the impressive leadership experience gained in his current position as Acting CEO and Chief Officer of MFB to the position as Deputy Commissioner, North-West Operations.
Gavin Freeman AFSM will be Deputy Commissioner for South-East Operations, utilising his extensive experience with the Tasmania Fire Service and CFA, where he currently works as Deputy Chief Officer.
Mr Freeman undertook the position of Victorian State Response Controller during the 2019-20 bushfire season.
Brendan Angwin brings expert experience to FRV in the role of Deputy Commissioner for Operational Training.
Martin Braid AFSM will bring more than 30 years’ experience to the role of FRV Deputy Commissioner of Strategy, where he will lead operational communications, IT, policy and planning.
The appointments were made following a competitive recruitment process led by an independent executive recruitment agency. With applications open Australia wide, recruitment involved two rounds of interviews conducted with Commissioner Block and senior executives from across government and the emergency sector.
All appointees will begin in their new roles on 1 July, upon the commencement of FRV as a new agency to bring together career firefighters and staff from CFA and MFB to lead fire and rescue services Melbourne and major regional centres.
As stated by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“We’ve chosen a highly-experienced team of experts to lead FRV and work with emergency services colleagues to keep Victorians safe – I congratulate them all on their well-deserved appointments.”
“Our career and volunteer firefighters are the best in the world and as our population grows, we’re making sure that they and the Victorian community have the modern fire service that they deserve.”