Fire Communication officers UPDATE                        20 january 2020

Member concerns arising out of the FCO Recruit Program Review

The UFUQ has had multiple contacts from members relating to the FCO Recruit Program Review. Specifically, the contact has mostly been in regards to concerns about an attempt by QFES to change the role of FCOs and the name of Firecom and Fire Communications Officers.

Given this concern, the UFUQ sought the following commitments from QFES –

 that the name ‘Fire Communications Officer’ is not being changed to ‘Emergency Communications Officer’, and

 that the FCO role is not changing (i.e. splitting the FCO role into ‘call taking’ and ‘despatching’ roles).

On Wednesday 15 January 2020, the UFUQ received a response from QFES on these matters. We are advised, in writing, of the following –

 “the ongoing Firecom recruit course design and content is being reviewed in alignment to the national standard of PUA30819 Certificate III in Public Safety – Emergency Communications Centre Operations (ECCO), and to ensure QFES continues to provide training that delivers the required capabilities”, and

 “There is no intent from QFES to change the role of Firecom as a result of the updated recruit course design and content”.

In follow up discussions with QFES the UFUQ sought further clarification regarding any plans to change the name of FCOs.

QFES advised that the name of Firecoms and FCOs is not influenced by the name of the recruit program or any relevant qualification.

For now, you can rest assured that there are no plans to change the role of FCOs or the name of Firecom and Fire Communications Officers, and with the much improved consultation provisions in CA19 QFES are required to genuinely engage with the UFUQ in the early stages of any future planning.

The UFUQ will continue to monitor both of these matters and advocate for the best interests of members.


John Oliver - General Secretary




Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary 
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD