Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB)

Being one of the world’s premier emergency response organisations is no accident. With intelligent training, the better become the best.

All in a day’s work

Every hour of every day, the MFB protects four million Melbournians across 1,000 km2. With some of the world’s fastest response times, the MFB consistently confines most fires to the room in which they ignite.

Firefighters need to know much more than just how to fight fires. They must also manage diverse people and help their team towards common goals.

With this end in mind, the MFB formed a training partnership with DeakinPrime to progress its leading firefighters ‘from the back of the truck to the front’.

The training had to foster superior leadership and team building (both at the station and in extremely challenging emergencies) and cover trust, ethics, relationships, conflict resolution, continuous improvement and open communication.

Bright sparks

Facilitated largely in workshops, the DeakinCo modules also included role plays, group challenges and vigorous debates (a favourite of participants).

To further vitalise the leadership concept, Deakin University lecturer and football legend David Parkin shared his thoughts on how to manage team resistance and inspire individuals to greatness.

A Managing Quality Customer Service module covered a crucial part of firefighting: community engagement (think fire drills, building inspections, community programs, fundraising, safety messaging and special events).

A warm reception

With the training spanning 15 rigorous weeks, participants felt a true sense of achievement on completion.

To mark the end of the program, a graduation ceremony was held for 20 Station Officers in December 2010. MFB president Neil Comrie presented the group with their Certificates of Achievement and badges of more senior rank. Friends and family shared the mood of success and celebration.

The firefighters’ journey exemplified MFB’s genuine commitment to ongoing professional development in all facets of their lives. It’s a reflection of the high regard MFB has for its employees’ careers and well-being.

The benefits to Melbourne are patent daily. It’s comforting to know we’re protected 24/7 by such well-trained professionals.

The MFB and DeakinCo have since hosted a second group of firefighters with equally pleasing results.

This exciting journey is set to continue!

Our relationship with DeakinCo to deliver leadership development as part of our Station Officer Program has truly broadened and enriched our officers’ leadership capabilities.

Tony Westcott - Manager – Leadership & Development, MFB