FOUR new full-time firefighter positions will be created in the south-west as part of a boost to planned burns on government land.
Two of the new positions will be based at Casterton and another two in Halls Gap, part of an increase of 57 field services officer positions across Victoria.
The new staff will be employed by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Parks Victoria.
They are part of the state government’s commitment to scale up its planned burning program, as recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
DEPI chief fire officer Alan Goodwin said field services officers (FSOs) were the backbone of bushfire prevention and response activities on public land.
“There are 47 new field services officer roles on offer across the state, with a further 10 backfill positions available,” Mr Goodwin said.
“FSOs are full-time firefighters who, alongside their seasonal colleagues, are on the frontline of fighting and preventing fires.
“New recruits will be vital not only in putting out fires, but in carrying out planned burns across the state,” he said.
The roles are based at specific locations, but in the summer months FSOs can be deployed to fight grass and bushfires anywhere in Victoria. At other times of the year, they are responsible for carrying out planned burns, clearing walking and vehicle tracks, constructing fuel breaks and assisting with general forest and park maintenance
Nine of the 57 positions are plant operator roles, which require a plant operator ticket.