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Toxic culture still running through Victoria’s fire service

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Toxic culture still running through Victoria’s fire service

The head of Victoria's fire service has confirmed just how deep the toxic culture continues to run through the new Fire Services Victoria (FRV).

Reports todayFRV Commissioner Ken Block has little confidence the service is united eight months after he took on the role.

In a secret recording, Mr Block allegedly launched an extraordinary attack on the service saying staff “need to start to work together as a team. We need to somehow refocus”.

In the recording, the Commissioner also said the organisation he inherited was“fraught with tension, mistrust, and people protecting their own turf”.

It's clear the organisation is still suffering from a toxic culture of staff more focused on protecting their own careers than protecting the Victorian community.

Despite the Andrews Labor Government’s claims that the establishment of FRV will improve Victoria’s firefighting capacity, this brutal assessment confirms the organisation still suffers from a toxic culture which the Andrews Labor Government has been unwilling to fix.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Nick Wakeling:

“This scathing assessment of Victoria’s new fire service confirms that Fire Rescue Victoria still suffers from the same a toxic culture Daniel Andrews claimed a merger would fix.

“Victorians' safety is being put risk because of Daniel Andrews’ failure to stop the toxic nature of the UFU-controlled fire service. 

“The Liberal Nationals always opposed the Andrews Government’s plans to destroy the CFA and today's revelations show Victoria is still no better off with Labor's new Fire Rescue Victoria.”