For the information of all Bush Fire Brigade members and Local Governments, the following email was received from DFES on Friday. If the information below or on the Volunteer Portal does not answer your questions or concerns, please let us know here.
This email provides an update on the insurance arrangements for emergency services volunteers which will be changing as of Saturday 16 September 2017, Section 37 will be deleted from the Bush Fires Act 1954 and a new Part inserted into the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998 (the FES Act).
There are two main features of this new Part of the FES Act:
- a simpler claims process for emergency services volunteers who develop a prescribed cancer as a result of exposure to hazardous fires in the course of their duties; and
- consistent insurance coverage for all volunteers operating under the emergency services Acts.
To assist you with answering queries from emergency services volunteers, please direct them to the Volunteer Portal in the first instance. Log in and registration information is available at this link.
For volunteers who don’t currently have the opportunity to access the Volunteer Portal, they can contact their local DFES Manager, who can access documents for download which can be distributed in hardcopy or via email.
Please also see the diagram below which helps to explain the process for prescribed cancer claims.
Emphasis on reporting – presumptive legislation
The main message we are promoting to emergency services volunteers is the benefit of reporting their attendance at incidents.
We have been working with RiskCover and LGIS to make sure their insurance policies line up with the changes in the legislation.
We intend to contact local governments shortly to emphasise the importance of incident reporting for their emergency services volunteers in light of the changes to the legislation. This will not affect the current process for making insurance claims as this won’t be changing.
DFES Command Personnel
We will be providing information to all DFES command personnel and staff who engage with emergency services volunteers. This will give them the knowledge and resources to answer queries and provide assistance.
BGU Volunteer Leaders
We will be sending out an email campaign to all brigade, group and unit leaders on Friday afternoon 15 September. This will notify them of the changes and also give them direction where to access the resources from the Volunteer Portal or from their local DFES Manager.