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Update from CEO Paul Smith
As I mark just over a week in the job at CFA, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for a warm welcome and share what I plan to achieve as your Chief Executive.
Firstly, I want you to know I am thrilled to be taking this role. CFA is a much revered organisation, valued as an intrinsic part of many communities across Victoria. Like you, I am driven by a strong duty to serve the public. While recent times have presented some real challenges for the organisation, it is worth each of you remembering CFA remains strongly respected throughout Victoria.
While we have plenty to be proud of, we can’t write our future relying on our past.
One thing I want to make clear is that I won’t talk in circles or platitudes. When we face tough issues, you will hear it directly from me, and with that, I will be straight with you.
The only way we will secure a strong future is to recognise where we need to change and embrace the opportunities that come with modernising CFA. A strong future demands us to be resilient when it comes to the changes that are needed inside our organisation.
I want to acknowledge a lot of the groundwork in this area has been undertaken by Frances Diver together with Chief Officer Steve Warrington. In particular, I have been impressed by the way CFA has overhauled how it handles and manages complaints. For our people to have confidence in our governance is key to building confidence in the organisation.
Safety and wellbeing in CFA is number one. So I’d like all CFA people to feel comfortable and safe in acknowledging there are things we can do better, and having the courage to take these challenges on. I’ll be working hard to make sure we embrace the opportunities that come with the dynamic environment we operate in.
We need to adhere to CFA values and look after each other as we deal with the challenges that come with a changing Victoria - urban growth, a changing and unpredictable environment, broader community changes and take steps to increase diversity across our organisation.
I look forward to meeting with all CFA people.
Our tradition and history will always be valued, but our future should be just as exciting.
I look forward to working with you all to build CFA into a resilient and future focused emergency service.