Australia: The Chief Officer of the Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) has today resigned.
Chief Officer Peter Rau, worked as an Operations Manager at the Country Fire Authority (CFA) before holding several executive leadership roles at the MFB. He bacame Chief Officer in 2014.
Mr Rau recently revealed that the MFB would have issues signing the controversial United Firefighters Union workplace agreement (EBA). Mr Rau has resigned for medical reasons.
The Acting Emergency Services Minister, Lisa Neville MP, has been quoted by 9news.com.au as saying Mr Rau was “gravely ill” and that “it is an illness that people believe is related to his time as a firefighter.”
The resignation follows that of Lucinda Nolan (former CFA CEO), Mr Rau’s counterpart, Joe Buffone (former CFA Chief Officer) and Jane Garrett (former Minister for Emergency Services). The CFA Board was also sacked by the Government for failing to reach agreement with the UFU.
The following statement was issued to all staff by MFB’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Higgins:
“I wish to advise all staff that the Chief Officer Peter Rau will be ceasing his employment at the MFB due to medical reasons. Peter’s last official day at MFB will be Thursday 6 October.
As many of you know, Peter has been on sick leave for some time and he has taken the advice of his doctors to focus on his health.
Peter commenced as Chief Officer on 30 May 2014, bringing more than 30 years of experience in fire and emergency management services with the CFA and MFB. He has led MFB’s operations through the 2013-14 fire season and has played a significant sector leadership role in collaboration across the emergency management sector over this period.
On behalf of the President Andi Diamond, the Board of the MFESB, and our leadership and staff, I would like to thank Peter for his dedication, leadership and hard work in the position of Chief Officer.
In reflecting on his achievements, some major developments in the MFB and the emergency services sector have occurred due to Peter’s personal leadership and commitment. These include the establishment of the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre at Craigieburn, where Peter led the project from inception. Peter was also a key champion of the MFB Incident Control Centre at Burnley, which ensures MFB can control incidents both at the site of major incidents and from a central location.
Peter was also a passionate and effective advocate for firefighter and community safety at a state and national level. One of MFB’s very significant achievements under his watch was the work done by our teams following the Lacrosse apartment fire in the Docklands, where MFB identified holes in the existing building regulatory, inspection, construction and product certification processes used in Australia. MFB’s quality work and professionalism was internationally recognised and helped influence policy through a Federal Senate inquiry and Victorian coronial inquiry.
Peter also led the development of a hostile act response for MFB, working with other agencies in an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation and planning. Peter ensured MFB has a comprehensive approach to implementing risk controls that have the best chance of mitigating risk to firefighters and the community they serve.
Peter was also a key figure in the development and exercising of state control arrangements as both the Chief Officer of the MFB and as State Response Controller. On a personal level he was a supporter of a number of worthy causes, not least his advocacy as a White Ribbon Ambassador.
I would like to thank Peter for his service and wish him all the best in health and life.”
Paul Stacchino has been acting in the role of Chief Officer since Mr Rau went on medical leave.
We wish Peter well.