Who we are

Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is a volunteer-based organisation, providing emergency assistance to minimise the impact of emergencies and strengthen the community’s capacity to plan, respond and recover, when emergencies occur. 

On this page:

Operating since 1950, VICSES covers all of Victoria, via 150 units across six regions, in addition to the Victorian Head Office located at Southbank, Melbourne, and 13 other support offices across the state (view map of our locations).

Our timeline
Our timeline

We are the control agency for flood, storm, tsunami, earthquake and landslide throughout Victoria, and provide the largest Road Crash Rescue network in Australia, with specialist teams in 104 of our 150 units across the state. 

VICSES at a glance
VICSES at a glance - click to enlarge

VICSES is a significant contributor and leader in emergency management. We strive to develop and lead best practice by focusing on further developing our core business activities and strengthening our relationships and partnerships in developing a resilient Victorian community that knows what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

We operate under the Victoria State Emergency Act (2005) and the coordinating agency for emergency management, Emergency Management Victoria (EMV). As a Statutory Authority, VICSES is governed by a Board, which is accountable to the Minister for Emergency Services.

 

Our volunteers are the backbone of VICSES, making up 95% of our total membership and serving the Victorian community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for more than 40 years. 

VICSES celebrates an inclusive and diverse workforce that is committed to leading better public safety outcomes. Our strong investment in organisational values is a key driver in empowering and motivating our volunteers and staff (Our People) in a work environment that acknowledges, respects and values the diversity, abilities and contributions of all.

The safety of Our People is paramount. Our members are highly skilled, well equipped, and comprehensively trained in a wide range of emergency environments. Today, we comprise of more than 5,000 volunteers and 200 employees, who are all crucial to the success of VICSES and our vision to make Safer Communities – Together

We actively embrace volunteerism, with a focus on the volunteer experience that better meets our volunteer’s family and work needs. We strive to be an organisation of choice for people, and partners. (Learn more about volunteering with the service: for volunteers, employers of volunteers and families of volunteers). 

Working in partnership with some of Australia’s most respected health and wellness providers, VICSES is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of Our People and in ensuring a healthy work life balance.

At VICSES, diversity is key to our success, and we are proud to celebrate an inclusive and supportive culture across our entire organisation, reflecting the diversity of the communities that we are a part of. This includes promoting a gender inclusive workplace, encompassing:

  • 33% female volunteer membership.

  • 43% female staff membership.

  • 28% female volunteer leadership roles.

  • 42% female staff leadership roles.

We are committed to taking a leadership role in gender equality in the emergency management sector.  In 2020-21, VICSES commenced a Gender Equality Project including appointing Gender Equality Champions. The project includes work to assess where we are at when it comes to gender equality, to ensure compliance with the Victorian Gender Equality Act.

VICSES CEO Stephen Griffin is a passionate advocate for the advancement of gender equality and cultural diversity within VICSES. Stephen is a member of the Fire and Emergency Male Champions of Change, which aims to develop inclusive cultures and achieve significant and sustainable improvements in the representation of women in the emergency management sector. 

VICSES also recognises the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and their continuing connection to land, waters and community, paying respect to their cultures and Elders past, present and emerging. An Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners policy is being implemented across the business.

Our Vision:

Safer Communities – Together.

Our Mission:

Partner with communities, government, other agencies and businesses to provide timely and effective emergency management services, building community preparedness, disaster resilience and contributing to risk prevention.

Our commitment:

VICSES pledges to adopt contemporary approaches to our service delivery, and to strengthen the capability of Our People and the Victorian community, alongside the services, systems and structures that support them.

We commit to:

  • Collaborating with our community and partners in providing local services to meet local needs.

  • Developing resilient communities through the development of strong connections, community partnerships and agile operating models, helping to keep all Victorians safe and to reduce the consequences of before, during and after emergencies.

We stand by reviewing our progress annually to realise opportunities, inform decisions, and to positively influence the focus and direction of what we have committed to in achieving better visibility of our performance.

 

VICSES: An Introduction is our corporate profile, which highlights our unique strengths and expertise, acknowledges the significant contributions of our volunteers, and outlines our current challenges now, and into the future.

 

Our renewed Values reflect who we are today, and as we evolve and through our people and strategic enablers, VICSES is committed to remaining a sustainable organisation that takes us into the future.

Our Values
VICSES values

 

We pride ourselves on our credibility

  • We pride ourselves on delivering on our promises and commitments, and in doing the right thing consistent with our Values.

  • We are responsive, trustworthy, skilled, and respectful in our actions.

We are part of our community

  • We take a proactive, supportive, and empathetic approach to achieve community outcome.

  • We collaborate with our communities and partners, sharing knowledge and expertise.

  • We ensure we are integrated, connected, and engaged with our community.

Safety drives our decisions

  • We empower our people to work within their capability to ensure we don’t compromise the safety of our people and the community.

  • We promote open and honest conversations about the health and wellbeing of our people.

Focused and adaptable

  • We are disciplined in achieving our objectives; adaptable in our approach.

  • We recognise and respect the diversity of our capability.

  • We channel our resources to achieve results.

Together we are VICSES

  • We share a common purpose of working together without fear, favour, or prejudice.

  • We acknowledge that all our people contribute to, and enhance our ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.