AN overhaul of Victoria's emergency management has received cautious approval from volunteer firefighters.
But they say the new over-arching management body should not become just another layer of bureaucracy.
The Government will create one emergency management office to oversee all agencies during emergencies, including fire, flood and outbreaks of human and animal disease.
Emergency Management Victoria will be responsible for major disasters before, during and after they occur in a bid to minimise confusion. The sweeping reforms include a Volunteer Advisory Council.
Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan said the aim was to "keep engaging with the volunteers".
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria chief executive Andrew Ford said the proposed volunteers forum was vital. But he raised concerns about red tape and the new body adding another layer of bureaucracy.
"Our members will be anxious to ensure that the changes don't lead to a centralised, bureaucratic over-arching body making decisions remote from the agencies," Mr Ford said.