TASMANIA Fire Service volunteers and staff are still dealing with the flow-on effects from January's catastrophic bushfire season, according to chief officer Mike Brown.
Speaking at the service's annual state conference at Launceston's Country Club Tasmania yesterday, Mr Brown said the Dunalley bushfires were a very intense and emotional experience for a lot of people.
"I think motivation and morale is really good but it is to some degree a scared organisation," he said.
"Some of our people are still wearing some of the problems out of that, particularly with some of the decision-making, thinking perhaps they were putting people in positions that were very, very dangerous.
"There are a lot of welfare issues we are dealing with in the background, and our volunteers and staff across the board are showing a lot of support for that."
More than 360 volunteers and staff attend the conference, opened by Premier Lara Giddings, to discussed the 2012-13 bushfire season, innovations in firefighting technology and equipment, firefighter safety, and welfare and bushfire recovery.
Mr Brown said the service had received a spike in volunteer numbers in the past three months from a decade-long average of about 4800 volunteers to beyond 5000.
"Following our most challenging fire season in the past 50 years we have a great opportunity to review our experience, to hear some of those involved, to acknowledge our success and to hear what we have learnt," Mr Brown said.
"We know we have never got the whole situation perfect and I am really proud to say the organisation is very much a learning organisation, so we will be taking on everything we can possibly earn so we can tweak our systems to only improve things for the future."
Mr Brown said sections that worked well throughout the devastation were the service's operational priorities plus its warning and communication systems.
He said the service needed to work on finding ways to get people to take its advice in dangerous situations.