Find out more about the Disaster and Emergency Management Reforms.
RIT - Monthly Newsletter October 2023
Welcome to our October newsletter!
It has been an incredibly eventful month for the RIT team as we have actively engaged with multiple councils, volunteers, communities, and our own dedicated teams. Hearing from diverse voices and opinions is the cornerstone of achieving a successful transition and building the disaster and emergency services we envision for Queensland's future. Each discussion we share with our teams showcases an unwavering passion to serve and protect our communities and helps us foster our positive partnerships across various agencies and government entities.
Change is challenging, but by uniting under a common purpose and fostering mutual understanding, we are confident in our journey towards success.
We invite you to join us in our engagement sessions by visiting ForGov, where you can explore opportunities to actively participate. Should you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We value your input and are here to assist you.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to building a safer and stronger Queensland.
Standby for broadcast from the Bribie Island Emergency Services Expo
Earlier this month we had the incredible opportunity to catch up with the esteemed Mr Mark Ryan, Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services. Mr Ryan shared valuable updates on the program's progress and the encouraging feedback he has received firsthand.
We were also able to speak to our dedicated staff members and passionate volunteers. Their thoughts, insights and personal experiences shed light on the multitude of benefits this program will bring to their respective teams and organisations.
Disaster Management celebrates huge milestone
Exciting changes are underway as Disaster Management transitions from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to Queensland Police Service (QPS) on 30 October 2023.
While the majority of the team will continue their exceptional work without interruption, certain groups and areas within QFES have committed to supporting staff and communities through the severe weather season. This collaboration, outlined in an interagency Memorandum of Understanding, allows QPS to develop their capabilities in this crucial area. This transition marks a significant milestone in the Police and Emergency Services Reform for Queensland. QPS is proud to embrace and build upon the invaluable work done by QFES in Disaster Management throughout the state.
To honour the incredible efforts of the QFES Disaster Management Teams over the years, we recently held a Thank You Morning Tea at Kedron on 17 October 2023. The event featured inspiring speeches from Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan MP, QFES Commissioner Greg Leach, QFES Acting Deputy Commissioner Joanne Greenfield and QPS Acting Deputy Commissioner Ben Marcus. During the event, the Minister presented Commissioner Leach with a plaque that will be displayed in the State Disaster Coordination Centre, recognising QFES' considerable contributions to Disaster Management.
Also celebrated were the outstanding achievements of individuals within the team, specifically Jane Zsombok who was honoured with a Distinguished Service Medal (DSM), QFES Medal and clasps for Diligent and Ethical Service and Janelle McCarthy who received a QFES Medal in recognition of her outstanding service. Additionally, all transitioning staff members were presented with a Commissioner's Certificate, a thank you letter and a QFES Challenge Coin.
We understand that not all staff members were able to attend the Thank You Morning Tea due to travel or other commitments, our transition team is actively arranging the delivery of your certificate, letter and coin to ensure you receive proper recognition for your dedication and hard work. We extend our congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to the entire team for their tireless efforts in making this transition possible.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Fire and Rescue Service (FRS)
Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) is committed to improving service coverage and reforming its operations to better serve communities across Queensland.
As part of these efforts, QFES intends to transition all remaining 5-day stations to a 7-day crewing model. This decision comes after extensive discussions and consultation with FRS Regional stakeholders and the United Firefighters Union Queensland (UFUQ) over the past two years.
QFES has identified Emerald, Highfields, Kingaroy, Coolum, and Port Douglas 5-day stations as the locations that will transition to a 7-day service delivery with 12-hour shifts. Once these transitions are complete, 5-day stations will no longer exist in the state of Queensland. The implementation of these changes will be carried out as soon as practicable, following the recruitment roadmap and engaging with local crews.
Rural Fire Service (RFS)
The Rural Fire Services (RFS) new organisational structure has received approval from the Reform Implementation Taskforce (RIT) Steering Committee. Work is currently underway to support the implementation of this new structure.
To ensure effective communication and engagement, a second round of sessions has commenced for RFS staff and volunteers. So far, 11 sessions have been conducted, and additional sessions are planned throughout October. The next RFS Reference Group Meeting is scheduled for Saturday 4 November 2023.
QFES remains dedicated to enhancing its services and fostering collaboration with stakeholders and staff members. These ongoing efforts will continue to strengthen the agency's ability to provide the highest level of emergency response and support to the people of Queensland.
Get Ready Queensland Week prepares communities for upcoming weather season
Get Ready Queensland (GRQ) Week was launched last Monday simultaneously in Brisbane and Townsville to highlight the importance of preparing for this season’s extreme weather.
GRQ Ambassador and rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston kicked off the week at Suncorp Stadium, alongside Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Steven Miles, Laura Boekel from the Bureau of Meteorology and emergency services heroes.
Sentiment survey results
We received 388 responses for the sentiment survey which closed earlier this month. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. Your input will help develop the program’s communication strategies for the future. The results will be shared with the Business Reform Coordinators for their analysis before it is shared within this newsletter.
MARINE RESCUE QUEENSLAND (MRQ)
The Marine Rescue Implementation Program is pleased to share the approved emblem and uniforms for the future Marine Rescue Queensland with you.
Anchored in history and reflective of our modernisation, the new Marine Rescue Queensland emblem has been meticulously designed to encapsulate the legacy, experience, history, and expertise of both the Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland and Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association.
It stands as a symbolic representation of the unification of these two forces, who will work as one into the future when Marine Rescue Queensland is established in 2024.
The Marine Rescue Queensland uniform colour palette is a nod to the existing VMRAQ and AVCGA uniforms, while forging a new, recognisable identity.
Both the emblem and uniform are the product of extensive stakeholder consultation, drawing upon the insights and opinions of volunteers from both marine rescue organisations to reflect our shared vision for the future.
Don’t forget the ForGov site is your go-to site for information, news and events about our transition to QPS.
In other news, to date we have received 520 blue card applications from active volunteers who will be transitioning.
We are nearing completion of our desktop pilot activities in which we will have completed 14 deep dive sessions across four units.
State Emergency Services
At the SES Change Champions Workshop Deputy Commissioner Chelepy put a call to action out for questions. A volume of questions was received and were grouped into Strategic, Tactical and People. A three-part video series has been created with the Deputy answering some of these questions. The videos are out now and available on ForGov.
Work has commenced to understand corporate policy and procedure impacts with our transition to QPS. This work will inform how we provide training and support to enable SES staff and volunteers to access and continue to use essential enabling corporate systems post transition to QPS.
On 20 September we had our last Training Townhall with the QFES School. The purpose of the Townhalls was to seek member feedback, so we can make improvements to how training will occur within SES in the future. In October SES will start to build our future training approach. This will include creating a new Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for SES and enhancing our training system.
Our Change Champions are currently focussed on assisting with the planning and preparation phase. This work is largely ‘behind the scenes’ work. It involves understanding Business Change Readiness, staff and volunteer sentiment checks as well as identifying any gaps, risks or issues that need to be addressed before, during or after the transition. This work is a critical part of managing change and will help us transition more seamlessly to QPS in 2024.
Joining the discussion with councils at the LGAQ annual conference
The Reform Implementation Taskforce joined IGEM and QRA to engage councils from across Queensland at the LGAQ conference in Gladstone from Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 October.
It was a great opportunity to engage council members from 77 councils to listen and learn about their communities and how the reforms will benefit them. Overall there was positive feedback from councils, welcoming the outcomes of the reforms. The Taskforce had a clear message that there would be no degradation of services during this disaster season and coordination will remain locally led.
The Taskforce's presence emphasised the importance of the reforms and the commitment to the state and local partnership during disaster and emergency operations.
Visit our ForGov webpage for information, news, videos, upcoming engagement opportunities and events.
FAQS & MYTH BUSTERS
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