New DFES Commissioner, Darren Klemm

The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) has congratulated DFES Assistant Commissioner Darren Klemm for his appointment to the position of Commissioner.

AVBFB President Dave Gossage said it is very positive that the career side of WA’s Emergency Services will be led by someone with such a long and esteemed history as an employee of the Fire and Rescue Service.

“The government’s commitment to establish a Rural Fire Service (RFS) means that at some point soon, Commissioner Klemm will be responsible only for the Fire and Rescue type services and in that sense, he is a wonderful choice,” Mr Gossage said.

“On top of that, Mr Klemm’s experience in the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service will be very useful because he has a deep understanding of how well a system with both a metropolitan and country fire service works.”

“We have asked the government to undertake more detailed modelling before settling on the final structure of WA’s RFS but Darren’s experience in South Australia will help as we develop and refine the most cost-effective and efficient model possible under the current financial circumstances.”

“In the meantime, we will seek a meeting with Commissioner Klemm at his earliest convenience to ensure that he has all the facts about the relationship the AVBFB has worked hard over many years to try to nurture with DFES. We will endeavour to find common ground, combine our strengths and hopefully resolve some of the bigger outstanding issues before the services are formally separated.”

“I’m sure that the majority of Western Australian volunteers will agree that there are a number of things to be improved and we sincerely look forward to working with Mr Klemm while we have a unique opportunity to reset and implement positive change for all,” Mr Gossage said.

The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades acknowledges the efforts of outgoing Commissioner Wayne Gregson and wish him and his family well in his retirement.

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