Message from Acting Chief Executive Officer Catherine Greaves and Chief Officer Jason Heffernan

As 2020 comes to an end, we want to take a moment to thank all at CFA for your efforts throughout the year.

Message from Acting Chief Executive Officer Catherine Greaves and Chief Officer Jason Heffernan

This year has brought significant change to CFA and we want to acknowledge and thank you all for your adaptability in such difficult circumstances.

The 2019-20 fire season will go down in history as one of the most extensive bushfire seasons we have faced.

The commitment and dedication of our emergency services workers who assisted with the 2019/20 fires, will not be forgotten.

As many people around the world celebrated the 2020 New Year, our people were fighting fires and making a significant and critical difference in some of the most challenging conditions we have ever experienced.

1 July 2020 was the implementation of Fire Service Reform, which occurred while the state was dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We embarked on a new partnership with Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) to deliver fire and emergency services to Victorians.

CFA is now a proudly volunteer-based, community-focused Fire and Emergency Service with more than 54,000 volunteers operating in over 1,200 brigades across Victoria. Our volunteers are core to our purpose, and our focus is on ensuring that all our members feel supported and valued. This among other initiatives will include new opportunities and ideas for improved, direct engagement to ensure we’re listening, learning and growing in line with our members’ needs and expectations.

It has been an arduous and sometimes difficult journey through 2020, however our important work to transform CFA continues, and we are looking to the future of our organisation.

In the meantime, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought an environment like no other we’ve ever experienced, and we are mindful that our situation has, and will continue to change and challenge us into the future.

Despite the challenges we faced this year, there were times for great celebration. We took part in a number of important events and fundraisers including the Good Friday Appeal, Cultural Diversity Week, Emergency Services Blood Challenge, Ramadan, IDAHOBIT, Movember, R U OK? Day, Melbourne’s Firefighter stair climb, 16 Days of Activism and so much more.

We virtually celebrated our 75th birthday on 2 April 2020.

CFA also rolled out $20.5 million in donations thanks to the generosity shown by Australian and international communities following the challenging 2019-20 fire season.

Our dedicated crews responded to thousands of incidents including rescues, bushfires, grass fires, structure fires, HAZMAT and many more. Members also conducted planned burns, training, donation drives and significant recovery efforts.

In 2020, as we have navigated through the 19/20 bushfire season, COVID-19 and Fire Services Reform, our people have done an amazing job of demonstrating and upholding the core CFA values that both drive and bind us.

We have worked together to develop new ways of doing business, and despite every challenge we have continued to deliver on our mission and our commitment to our communities.

We want to thank you for your dedication, commitment and resilience.

We are still facing challenges – including many unknowns with respect to COVID-19, which will likely extend through our fire season, but now is the time to reflect and celebrate the amazing contributions of each and every CFA member.

Once again, we’d like to acknowledge all of your efforts and encourage you to continue to stay connected and look out for each other. Please remember that our Wellbeing Support Line is available to you and your family 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

Stay safe,

Cath and Jason

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