The move was initially blocked by United Firefighters Union (UFU) management, which decided only career firefighters would continue to have access to emergency equipment, such as defibrillators.
Calls from volunteers advocating the need for this lifesaving equipment fell on deaf ears, with the Andrews Labor Government instead opting to scrap the rollout of FMR.
Now, with Victoria’s ambulance system in crisis, volunteer firefighters will be expected to provide medical assistance after an email to members stated the measures would “increase CFA’s interoperability with Ambulance Victoria.”
Whilst new equipment is welcomed, these measures could have been introduced years ago and the equipment already be in use right across the state.
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brad Battin, said the government is now forced to play catch-up years after giving in to Union demands.
“This is a self-serving measure introduced by Daniel Andrews because the system he created is broken,” Mr Battin said.
“We had the opportunity to train and equip our volunteers, but Labor scrapped it.”
“Daniel Andrews can’t force volunteers to now clean up the mess he created.”