THE split between the Country Fire Authority's career staff and volunteers will not impact on community safety, the region's assistant chief fire officer has said.
From July 1, the CFA's career staff will merge with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade to form a new service called Fire Rescue Victoria.
That means that from next week, Ballarat City Fire Brigade's as well as Lucas Fire Brigade's career staff will transition to the new fire service.
District 15's Assistant Chief Fire Officer Brett Boatman said the community could expect to see branding changes on these stations as well as on the brigades' vehicles.
While the key change will be that about 90 career staff across the city will transition to the new entity, Mr Boatman said the response to incidents within the community would be the same, if not better.
"For the community, nothing will change on the first of July. If you call triple zero, you'll still get a fire truck," he said.
Mr Boatman said the two organisations would continue to work collaboratively and would continue to communicate on the same radio channel and share the same equipment.
"The mechanism for response in the areas that career staff at FRV and volunteers at the remaining CFA locations respond to won't change at all, so the service to the community is exactly the same as it is now," he said.
"It is a key goal to make sure that the service is as good on the first of July, if not better than the 30th of June."
For one of the oldest brigades in Victoria - the 160 year old Ballarat City Fire Brigade - the split will mean some changes.
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The biggest is that Ballarat City's volunteer fire brigade will recommence as a fully volunteer fire brigade from next week.
While their focus will shift to be more of a support role, such as to run staging areas during major fires, Mr Boatman said they would also receive a small tanker to respond to grass and scrub fires throughout the summer.
While it is smaller than the one they currently have, Mr Boatman said it would fill a capability gap in Ballarat - it is smaller than the many big tankers in Ballarat so is more dynamic and will be able to access areas such as around the Yarrowee creek.
Mr Boatman said the brigade would be writing a new chapter in their history, and their role would continue to evolve.
He said the move oriented the CFA as a wholly community-based fire service - formed by community members to serve the community.
"The CFA will remain a community-based fire brigade formed by people who understand the local risk and volunteer to support their local communities," he said.
The CFA will continue to have operational staff, such as Mr Boatman, who will be an employee of FRV, though seconded back to the CFA to support volunteers and their work.
For administrative staff, who support brigades, there will be no change in Ballarat.
Mr Boatman said while the FRV would evolve, the CFA would also as a purely volunteer organisation.
While the CFA's skills and expertise are largely focused on bushfire prevention, preparedness and response, he said it would continue to develop "as a centre of excellence in emergency services" going forward.