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Report name
Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1
Lead agency
EMV - Emergency Management Victoria
In Progress
Due date
IGEM considers that this action is progressing satisfactorily
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 15: Emergency management capacity
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Emergency Management Victoria collaborate with the emergency management sector to develop a capacity model that considers current and future:
a)    career and volunteer emergency management personnel requirements
b)    identified and trained personnel for surge requirements
c)    emergency risks and climate scenarios.


EMV and sector partners have been and will continue to utilise the Victorian Preparedness Framework to assess the capability and inform capacity requirements required to plan for, withstand and recover from emergencies.

Summary of progress

The Victorian Preparedness Framework
The VPF – first published in 2017 and updated in 2018 – identifies and describes 21 core capabilities and the related critical tasks required to manage emergencies in Victoria. These core capabilities and critical tasks set the foundation for how the state prepares for, responds to, and recovers from emergencies. The VPF is available at emv.vic.gov.au/how-we-help/emergency-management-capability-in-victoria/victorian-preparedness-framework (External link).

Capability assessments
EMV and sector partners use the VPF to assess the capability requirements and inform the capacity requirements needed to plan for, withstand and recover from emergencies. 

The updated VPF outlines a process to compare estimated levels of capability against specified capability targets so that gaps may be identified. The process then seeks to establish where additional capability and capacity is available to assist with identified gaps, including state, interstate and international arrangements, or additional expected volunteer capability. 

The Emergency Management Capability and Capacity Project coordinated by EMV uses three methodologies to assess capabilities: 
•    agency self-assessments (maturity assessments)
•    assessments against capability targets developed by the sector (physical assessments)
•    exercise/real event assessments.

EMV and the agencies leading each assessment regularly update the Emergency Management Capability and Capacity Steering Committee on progress.

During 2021–22 EMV and sector partners advanced the assessment of four capabilities:
•    Operational Management
•    Fire Management and Suppression
•    Fatality Management
•    Search and Rescue. 

EMV is currently sourcing additional data to improve the Operational Management assessment, with the intention that following this, all four assessments are presented to State Crisis and Resilience Council (SCRC) for approval. EMV has developed a summary report template that can be updated as each assessment is completed and provides a consistent view of findings across assessments. 

IGEM notes some of the challenges the project faces, including the need for cross-sector coordination involving large numbers of stakeholders and the impact of operational pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies. 

EMV plans to coordinate the assessment of all 21 capabilities, in collaboration with relevant sector departments and agencies, by December 2024. 

Victorian Preparedness Framework Review
On 11 August 2022 SCRC approved an updated VPF to replace the current published version.

The progress summary for 10YOR Action 4.8 provides information on the review process that informed the update.