Firefighters need best practice training to protect Victorians from fire, building collapse, medical emergencies, chemical spillage and more. But the only training facility in Victoria equipped to provide that training is operating above capacity with no ability to accommodate the scale of additional practical training required. Because the Andrews Government has neglected firefighter training, the number of firefighters with up to date skills is declining with the facility being used primarily for new recruits. This is putting firefighters and the community at risk.
Existing training capacity supports 33,128 training days per annum but there is underlying demand of 58,000 from the FRV work force. To address this shortfall, Fire Rescue Victoria requested the construction of two new regional training facilities – in Cardinia Shire and Greater Geelong.
This proposal was rejected by the Andrews Government – meaning firefighters are unable to train or maintain their skills to respond to the range of threats to life and property required of the fire service.
Investment in new training facilities is urgent. Every day of delay increases the risk to firefighters and creates the possibility of the community suffering when appropriately trained firefighters cannot respond to their emergency. The silence from the Andrews Government on this matter is inexplicable.